25 September 2010

Falling in Love (starring Meryl Streep and Robert de Niro)

I put this DVD on my wishlist after Amazon recommended it, probably due to my having rated other films with Meryl Streep in them. She stars in 'Falling in Love', brilliantly, as ever. While some actors and actresses are very good in typecast roles, Meryl Streep manages to play a wide variety of characters, and is entirely believable in every one.

In this film, Streep plays the part of Molly, who is doing some Christmas shopping, when she bumps into Frank (Robert de Niro) in a book shop. Predictably, their parcels get switched in the confusion. Both of them are married, quite contently, to other people, and they think nothing of the encounter. Except that, coincidentally, they realise that they travel to work on the same train...

We soon realised that this is quite old, as films go – the lack of mobile phones, and the presence of old-fashioned dials on house phones rather gave it away. It was in fact made in 1984 - and very well made too. De Niro is an excellent foil for Meryl Streep, and the chemistry between them is powerful.

However the subject matter is all too modern, and rather depressing. The two leading characters become friends, and then their relationship escalates far too quickly, both of them convinced that at last they have found their soul-mate. I did not at all like the message which was conveyed – that the promises of marriage can be thrown aside, even when the marriages are, basically, pretty good.

Still, the acting was excellent, and overall it was reasonably entertaining and even mildly amusing in places. I just wish it had ended differently.

Rated PG in the UK, and PG-13 in the USA.

Review copyright Sue's DVD Reviews

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