Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Little Romance (1979) [PG] ****

This is a sweet, endearing film about two brilliant but precocious young teenagers in Paris. Lauren is an American girl (played by Diane Lane in her acting debut) and Daniel (Thelonius Bernard) is a film-loving Parisian boy. They meet on a movie set and fall in love quite innocently. However, when Lauren reveals that her family will soon return to America, the two decide to seal their love forever by sharing a kiss at sunset while floating in a gondola beneath the Bridge of Sighs in Venice, Italy. To get there they must enlist the aid of an aging pickpocket, played by Sir Laurence Olivier.

For all young-at-heart romantics, this classic celebration of innocent first love is a real treat. The film was directed by the late George Roy Hill, whose fourteen films included such classics as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The StingA Little Romance won an Oscar for George Delerue's beautiful soundtrack, and was nominated for an Oscar for best screenplay. The DVD includes an interview with Diane Lane in which she reminisces about working with Hill and Olivier. Olivier paid Lane the highest compliment when he called her the next Grace Kelly.

Labels: comedy, filmmaking, Paris, romance, teenager

Internet Movie Database
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=67, viewers=74)    
Theatrical Trailer

The hauntingly beautiful instrumental music heard several times during the film is the second movement (Largo) from Antonio Vivaldi's Concerto for Lute, Two Violins and Basso Continuo in D Major, RV 93 II, composed in the 18th century. 
YouTube link
While composer Georges Delerue was credited with "original music" in the film, he only arranged and conducted the concerto. Because of its age, the composition is in the public domain and has no copyright protection, nor is there a legal requirement for any user of the work to provide attribution to the composer.

NOTE: For another equally charming film, starring a grown-up Diane Lane, I highly recommend Indian Summer, a romantic comedy-drama about a group of adults who meet for a nostalgic twenty-year reunion at the summer camp they attended as teens - also starring Kimberly Williams, Elizabeth Perkins, Julie Warner, Bill Paxton, Vincent Spano and Alan Arkin.

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