Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Only Thrill (1997) [R] ***

It's 1966 in Texas, and Reece McHenry (Sam Shepard) is an architect and developer with a teenage son. He also runs the second-hand clothing shop that his wife managed before she fell into a coma. One day Carol Fitzsimmons (Diane Keaton) comes into Reece's shop. She's a widow and a dressmaker with a teenage daughter to support, and she offers to work for Reece altering dresses. There's instant chemistry between Reece and Carol and what follows is a thirty-year, on-again off-again love affair, interrupted by Carol's decade long stay in Toronto to care for her dying sister. What Reece and Carol don't know when they begin their love affair however, is that Reece's son Tom (Robert Patrick) and Carol's daughter Katherine (Diane Lane) will, in the near future, begin an equally intense romance. Reece cannot make a commitment to Carol because of his love for his comatose wife, while Katherine's fear of commitment causes her to repeatedly appear in Tom's world, and then flee from him just as quickly. Ironically, by the time Katherine is ready to make a commitment to Tom, thirty years have passed since they first met as teenagers and, as she observes, they are as old as their parents were when they first met.

The lesson in this bittersweet, character-driven, mature romance is that Love is not something we can afford to be casual about, and defer to the future; we cannot save it for a rainy day. We need to reach out for Love, and grasp it firmly with both hands. If you’re a fan of Diane Keaton and Diane Lane, or if you enjoy romantic dramas, films like A Walk on the Moon with Diane Lane and Viggo Mortensen, Forever Young with Mel Gibson and Isabel Glasser, or The Bridges of Madison County with Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood, then you might enjoy The Only Thrill.

Labels: drama, romance
Internet Movie Database
Tomatometer (critics=NA, viewers=44)

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