Despite Tim Curry's Brit accent, "Lover's Knot" is pure American collegiate humor. This perky celebration of supposedly modern romance will appeal exclusively to TV viewers with a wholesome view of sex and romance, after which it may be found on the family shelf of vid stores.

Despite Tim Curry’s Brit accent, “Lover’s Knot” is pure American collegiate humor. This perky celebration of supposedly modern romance will appeal exclusively to TV viewers with a wholesome view of sex and romance, after which it may be found on the family shelf of vid stores.

The story is told cleverly enough by interlacing the action with comments by characters and various onlookers — who range from Dr. Joyce Brothers to Shakespeare and John Donne — addressing the camera to opine about the romance in progress.

Curry pops up as a know-it-all angel sent by Cupid to bring together couples who are meant for each other.

The pair in question is Steve (Bill Campbell), a young college English teacher with a thing for Renaissance poetry, and Megan (Jennifer Grey), a strong-minded pediatrician with a practical view of love who has just broken up with a plastic surgeon (Adam Baldwin).

Cupid’s minion oversees their first encounter, courtship, lovemaking, first breakup and — no surprise — last-scene reconciliation; his sardonic comments have a comparatively sophisticated ring after Steve and Megan’s silly antics.

Steve is convinced that by studying the great romantic poets of yore he will discover the secret of making love last. His imaginative courtship of Megan works, and they move in together. But his latenight thesis-writing and gawkiness lead to their parting ways. It takes Curry’s help to get them back in each other’s arms.

At times, director Peter Shaner seems to be sending up his characters’ unbearably conventional mores. A goofy young married couple “interviewed” about the meaning of love is a laugh, and Steve’s old roommate — a confirmed Don Giovanni perpetually surrounded by sexy playmate types — is a breath of fresh air.

But leads Campbell and Greyfall all too neatly into “Lover’s Knot’s” banal college humor. A couple whose biggest trauma is a fight about who takes out the garbage (“You won’t work at this relationship!” she complains) is really beyond critique.

Making the film watchable is its pace, achieved by the intercut interviews, fantasy cutaways and guest cameos by the likes of Adam Ant and Brothers. A few of these inserts hit the mark, but most barbs fall lamely on the ground, along with the rest of the dialogue.

Tech work is very much in the spirit of the film: even lighting, cozy domestic interiors and a medley of romantic background songs.

Lover's Knot

Production

A Legacy/Republic release of a Showcase Entertainment presentation, in association with TwoPauls Entertainment, of a Paul A. Kaufman/Paul Rauch production. Produced by Paul Rauch, Paul A. Kaufman. Executive producer, Randy Simon. Co-producer, Kevin Hamburger. Directed, written by Peter Shaner.

Crew

Camera (Fuji color), Garett Griffin; editor, Tatiana S. Riegel; music, Laura Karpman; music supervisor, Steven Corn; production design, David Huang; sound, Ultra-Stereo; casting, Victoria Burrows. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (market), May 11, 1996. Running time: 82 min.

With

Steve - Bill Campbell
Megan - Jennifer Grey
Angel - Tim Curry
John - Adam Baldwin
With: Adam Ant, Dr. Joyce Brothers, Anne Francis.
Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more
Post A Comment 0