- Movie Rating -

A Man in Love (1987)

| July 31, 1987

It’s called A Man in Love, but really what it turns out to be is a movie in love with itself.  This is one of those movies-within-a-movie that walks a very fine line between emotional health and straight-up vanity and I’m afraid that it tumbles into the latter.

We are behind the scenes of an Italian movie in the making.  We meet Steve Elliott (Peter Coyote) who is having an extramarital affair with the nearest PYT, named Jane Steiner and played in a hard-working performance by Greta Scacchi.  She has to work hard to get through this material about a man who is desperately in love with himself and a woman who wants to be in love with him.  He’s an egotistical monster.  We can see this as he heads a production of a film about the Italian poet Casare Pavese, a production that is sinking fast.

I kind of get what director Diane Kurys is going for.  She wants to show these vain people as flawed and vulnerable,  Steven is egotistical but he knows that he is basically an untalented hack.  Jane is basically a starlet who is uncomfortable with her acting ability and is simply getting by on her looks.  The upfront message may be that while these people work in the glitter of showbusiness – hey! – they’re just like us!

The problem is that I didn’t really believe any of it.  I didn’t believe their relationship.  I didn’t like the characters.  I wasn’t convinced of their vulnerability nor really any reason why they even ended up in front of a camera to begin with.  I think this movie needed another run through the typewriter, a run that would tighten up the characters and given us a reason for wanting anything good to happen to them.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1987) View IMDB Filed in: Drama