This lavish adaptation of Gabriel Garcia Marquez' classic novel is, tragically, a failure. Tragic, because it has a high quality script from Ronald Harwood; a top-class cast including Javier Bardem as Florentino and an impressive Benjamin Bratt as Urbino; and lush location work in Colombia. The production design and costumes drip with authenticity and beauty. The problem is that this movie sticks so closely to the bare bones plot of the book that it looses the magic, the whimsy, the poetry of it. In short, the movie becomes a typically plodding costume drama in which boy meets girl, love strikes, girl marries posh bloke, posh bloke dies decades later, and boy and girl finally consummate their love. Director Mike Newell lacks the daring of, say, a Julian Schnabel, and while he respects the book that isn't enough. With this film he confirms himself as a director for hire rather than an auteur, gliding between genres - (Rom-com: FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL, kids-action: HARRY POTTER...)
LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA was released in 2007 and 2008 and is available on DVD.