HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Portal
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
Straight Shooting
Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon
Man They Could Not Hang, The
Final Days
Frightened City, The
Assimilate
Sequin in a Blue Room
Common Crime, A
Into the Labyrinth
Power, The
Wake of Death
Night Orchid
Mortal
Iron Mask, The
Dinosaur
Personal History of David Copperfield, The
Dove, The
Collective
Charulata
Minari
Violation
Defending Your Life
Champagne Murders, The
He Dreams of Giants
Lost in America
Take Back
Honeydew
Banishing, The
Drifters, The
Gushing Prayer
Escape from Coral Cove
Swan Princess, The
Shortcut
Stray
   
 
Newest Articles
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
   
 
  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 2945 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
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: