HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Night Raiders
Samourai, Le
Advent Calendar, The
Champion
Merchant of Four Seasons, The
Love of Jeanne Ney, The
Blonde. Purple
Dirty Ho
Annette
Shepherd
Dying to Divorce
Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn
Trouble with Being Born, The
Last Matinee, The
Strings, The
Free Hand for a Tough Cop
People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan
Dear Future Children
Accidental Luxuriance of the Translucent Watery Rebus
Swallow
Thin Red Line, The
Petite Maman
Fast & Furious 9
Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat
Sweet Thing
Maelstrom
Father, The
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Night House, The
Father of Flies
80,000 Years Old
Dead & Beautiful
Bull
Censor
Sleep
Freaky
Nightbooks
Whisker Away, A
Wild Indian
Whale Island
   
 
Newest Articles
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
   
 
  Little Romance, A Young Hearts Run Free
Year: 1979
Director: George Roy Hill
Stars: Laurence Olivier, Diane Lane, Thelonius Bernard, Arthur Hill, Sally Kellerman, Ashby Semple, David Dukes, Andrew Duncan, Claudette Sutherland, Broderick Crawford, Graham Fletcher-Cook, Anna Massey
Genre: Comedy, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 3 votes)
Review: In picture perfect Paris, junior genius Lauren King (Diane Lane, in her film debut), who reads Heidegger and loves the poetry of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, meets similarly gifted Daniel Michon (Thelonius Bernard), a movie-mad French boy who invents his own statistical system for handicapping race horses. Fluent in each other’s languages, these two likeably precocious thirteen year olds bond over their high I.Q.s and mutual loathing of existentialism and fall in love. When Lauren’s flighty mother (Sally Kellerman) mistakenly thinks Daniel is a bad influence and forbids them seeing each other again, her kindly stepfather (Arthur Hill) decides to move the family back to America. Aided by elderly pickpocket Julius Edmond Santorin (Laurence Olivier), the kids hatch a plan to reach Venice, where according to legend if two lovers kiss under the Bridge of Sighs, at sunset, when eight bells toll, they will love each other forever.

Not many child actors can hold their own against Laurence Olivier, but Diane Lane truly sparkles here. Based on the novel, E=mc2, Mon Amour by Patrick Couvin (a pseudonym for French author Claude Klotz), A Little Romance was neither a hit at the box-office nor (surprisingly) with critics, but acquired a growing number of admirers on home video and is today considered quite a little gem. Charmed by the novel and by his young daughter’s reaction to it, director George Roy Hill develops an interesting take in that isn’t raging adolescent hormones, but a shared romantic idea that motivates the children’s journey.

There is something rather moving about their resistance not to “become like everyone else”, grow up cynical or disaffected like Lauren’s social butterfly mother, or Daniel’s cab-driver father who merrily fleeces American tourists. Precocious the child heroes may be, but they remain believable as kids, prone to childish mistakes or slight jealousies. Hill develops the love story in a way that is believably awkward, yet often more profound than many a grownup rom-com. On their first date Daniel foolishly takes Lauren to a porno movie. Having joked about her sexual experience with best friend Natalie (the endearing, brace-faced Ashby Semple), Lauren recoils in tears from her first sight of intercourse, whereupon Daniel touchingly says: “That was something different. It isn’t love.” When obnoxious film director George de Marco (David Dukes) makes a wisecrack about them having sex, Daniel defends Lauren’s honour with a hearty punch to his gut.

The like-named director is one of several in-jokes featured in the movie, including the photo of Robert Redford (from his Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) days) given to Lauren as a birthday gift, the kids decision to hide in a movie-theatre showing The Sting (1973), and a surprisingly poignant cameo from Broderick Crawford. Basically playing himself as drunk movie star who can’t recall his own films, Crawford looks to young Daniel to remind him he never acted opposite Richard Widmark. Elsewhere, there is a touch of Maurice Chevalier about the twinkle-eyed rogue played by Laurence Olivier. Critics may have been somewhat snooty about him starring in an adolescent romance such as this, but it remains one of the better films the great actor made late into his career. Julius seems genuinely charmed by the innocence of young love. There is a lovely scene where the old rogue hands himself over to the police with a flourish and submits to being slapped around so that Daniel and Lauren can share that first kiss at sunset. You may find yourself slightly teary-eyed by the conclusion and somewhat disappointed that Hill never adapted the book’s sequel, Pythagore, Je t'Adore which picks up the story several years later. It may be driven more by charm than substance, but A Little Romance really captures the excitement of being young, in love for the first time and sharing a great adventure.

Click here for the trailer

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 3256 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

George Roy Hill  (1921 - 2002)

American director, more at home with character than story, with a wide range of subjects under his belt. He started in television and theatre, and his first films were stage adaptations, but with The World of Henry Orient he appeared to find his voice in film. Other nineteen-sixties work included the epic Hawaii and musical Thoroughly Modern Millie, but he enjoyed a monster hit with light hearted western Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

It's this mixture of the serious and resigned humour that saw Hill make his best work in the seventies: Vonnegut adaptation Slaughterhouse-Five, Oscar winning caper The Sting (reuniting with Paul Newman and Robert Redford), flop aviation drama The Great Waldo Pepper, crude comedy Slap Shot and uncharacteristically sweet A Little Romance. Irving adaptation The World According to Garp was his best work of the eighties, with only confused thriller The Little Drummer Girl and comedy Funny Farm to end his career, whereupon he retired to teach drama.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: