Addicted to love

A primer in voyeurism for the twenty-somethings. Just when Hollywood was wondering how to hold onto all those ticket buying kids who are no longer titillated with Pretty things in Pink, or Popsicles in the Park, or Porky's, some bright young thing came up with the clever idea of taking an astronomer with good looks, but a displaced, misplaced libido, possibly suffering from rocket envy, and a high-motored doll with a penchant for French kissing who can't wait to get a powerful telephoto lens in her hand, and putting them in a derelict building somewhere in Soho where they can play with a telescope together. Get it? Sort of like Ferris Bueller taking the day off to spend it with Cherry 2000 (Ryan is very Griffiths in this film) so they can both win back their respective (ex-)love interests over a period of 9 1/2 weeks.

Unrequited love may be a bore, but being jilted is simply unacceptable. Sam (Matthew Broderick) follows his (ex-)sweetheart Linda (Kelly Preston) to New York to find out what happened. (It seems Sam had his head in the stars a little too much to see what was going on under the sheets.) Photographer, collage artist, and general mover-about-town Maggie (Meg Ryan) wants to revenge herself on the insatiable French sexpot Anton (Tcheky Karyo) who has displaced her for the newest model toy from the midwest. The smoldering love nest becomes the focus of attention for the lovelorn dynamic duo who plot and plan together to either regain their respective objects of affection or achieve revenge. Sam and Maggie grow to know each other better while playing their new roles as the spies who came in from the cold.

Producers Robert Newmyer and Jeffrey Silver (of Sex, Lies & Videotape) have been wanting to make this movie since they optioned the screenplay in 1989, although maintaining such vibrant enthusiasm for a period of eight years on this kind of material may have been slightly misdirected. Fun it is, epic it's not. They hired director Griffin Dunne who, in commenting on the film, makes possibly one of the most amazing statements ever made by a film director: "Much of the story unfolds through this device called the camera obscura. Not many people know what it is, I didn't before I got involved in the film."

Most young couples will undoubtedly have a nice evening and a good laugh watching this romantic comedy. Might be good on a double bill with Joe's Apartment.

© 1994-2006 The Green Hartnett