Thursday, September 27, 2007

FEAST OF LOVE - surprisingly moving

I can see why some critics have labelled FEAST OF LOVE contrived and saccharine, but all the same I warmed to the lead characters and was genuinely moved by it. I think it's because the lead actors have such warmth and charm and play it so straight that this trumps the somewhat obvious script.

The movie is a slice of life from a small university town in America. Morgan Freeman plays a happily married man called Harry Stevenson who's grieving for his son. He's friends with an open-hearted coffee house owner called Bradley played by Greg Kinnear. Bradley will be deserted by a sapphic first wife (Selma Blair) and a calculating adulterous second (Radha Mitchell). It's not that he's blameless, but he does end up battered by love. Bradley also employs a young kid called Oscar (Toby Hemingway) who finds love at first sight with a girl called Chloe (Alexa Davelos). Greg Kinnear and Alex Davelos in particular are great in their roles. We really believe in them and want them to be happy. And I totally bought Harry's quasi-paternal relationship with Chloe.

Now I realise that these sort of inter-linking can narratives can be a bit too cute and neat. And I think that if you're going to see FEAST OF LOVE you have to make a decision to go with that. But there is some grit and grime. I love that the writers don't shy away from the sexual component to love, and it's nice to see a movie celeberate loving sex as opposed to just lust. It's also nice to see a mature relationship. I also like the fact that we do see the highs and lows of love. Altogether, this is a strangely realistic and yet sweet movie!

FEAST OF LOVE is on release in the US and opens in the UK on October 5th. It opens in Portugal on October 18th, in Israel on October 25th, in Spain on October 31st, in Germany on January 24th and in Norway in February 2008.

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