Tuesday, April 08, 2008

FEAST OF LOVE: More Of A Snack

FEAST OF LOVE (romantic drama)

Cast: Morgan Freeman, Greg Kinnear, Selma Blair, Radha Mitchell, Alexa Davalos, Toby Hemingway, Fred Ward and Jane Alexander
Director: Robert Benton
Time: 102 mins
Rating: * * 1/2 (out of 4)

WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL? Forget 'Feast'. This romantic drama, based on Charles Baxter's novel, only qualifies as 'fast food' snack (as in hamburger), especially after going through the snips by our censorship board. However, for the 'hopelessly romantic', this 'compilation' of love stories can be filling enough, especially with its feel-good themes and something about Greek gods trying to have fun with humans...

WHAT'S IT ABOUT? The story is centred around college professor Harry Stevenson (Morgan Freeman in his usual 'God-like' role) who befriends and dispenses advice to some lovers in the town of Portland, Oregon. One is coffee shop owner Bradley Thomas (Greg Kinnear) who thinks that he has found his perfect mate in Kathryn (Selma Blair) until she leaves him for a woman. Still Bradley believes in love and he falls for Diana (Radha Mitchell), a real estate agent.

Then there are the youngsters, Oscar (Toby Hemingway) and Chloe (Alexa Davalos) who work for Bradley and are so passionately in love that we know they would invite 'mischief' from the envious gods of love.

HITS & MISSES: Director Robert Benton's (of Kramer Vs Kramer) forte is in unveiling his characters and here every one of them is well developed and interesting. Benton seems to have worked well with his cast, especially Freeman (who also doubles as narrator) and Kinnear, who seems to be in another of his loser-in-love roles. Freeman, as the sage-like Harry, also have problems that he shares with his wife Esther (Jane Alexander). However, the one character that stands out like a sore thumb in this otherwise believable tale is Fred Ward's bully of a father. he seems to have wandered in the set from another movie.

Benton has a number of nude scenes (I caught this movie in the US) which would obviously have been cut here, depriving us of the 'dessert'. These, however, should not make a total wreck of the movie.

THE LOWDOWN: Great as a date movie, but for those who want the whole 'feast', get the DVD.


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