'Big Screen Romances - 8 Movie Set'
(Burt Reynolds, John Turturro, Aidan Quinn, John Cassavetes, Demi Moore, Jamie Lee Curtis, et al / 2-DVD / NR / 2014 / Mill Creek Entertainment)
Overview: 8 Star-Packed Romances! Included in this 8 movie set are: 'The Luzhin Defence,' 'Tempest,' 'This Is My Father,' 'Violets Are Blue,' 'Modern Romance,' 'No Small Affair,' and both 'The Man Who Loved Children' and 'Perfect.'
DVD Verdict: In truth, I'm not much of a "chick flick" or "tear jerker" or "big screen romance" fan so I had my wife sit in with me for a few of these (again) - and boy, did SHE (again) love (this time) most all of them! (Note: She'd seen a few many, many times so the surprise element of them had worn thin/off, that's all.
Just to give you a rundown of a handful that stood out, starring Aidan Quinn, James Caan, Stephen Rea, and Josh Cusack, 'This Is My Father' it's Quinn that turns in one of his best performances ever as the poor, quiet Kieran. James Caan was subtle and sympathetic as a lonely schoolteacher searching for the story of his father. This film was romantic without being schmaltzy, and ultimately tragic and heartbreaking--no typical Hollywood happy ending here. The movie's portrayal of provincial Irish society in the late 30s was starkly accurate, as was its indictment of the Catholic Church.
In 'Violets are Blue,' Sissy Spacek and Kevin Kline play hometown high school sweethearts who separate to lead different lives and then reunite unexpectedly 15 years later. In a good twist on the age old Story- The man stays in the hometown while the woman goes off to see the world (Kline stays, gets his next girlfriend pregnant and runs the small town newspaper after his father's death- Spacek becomes a world travelling photographer after working as a flight attendant). The two meet up 15 years later and have to come to terms with how they have chosen to lead their lives and if they really can (or want ) to change them to be together again.
'Modern Romance,' starring both Albert Brooks and Kathryn Harrold has Brooks, as usual, playing the usual and same character; himself. with Kathryn Harrold as the love of his life. Brooks is up to his usual insecurities here wondering whether Harrold is cheating on him, obsessing over every little detail. One of the best scenes in the film is when he's depressed over one of the many breakups and is given Quaaludes to relax him. When they start to kick in he starts a rant on how great his belongings are. Loving everything he owns including his record collection, his bird "Petey", and deciding to go through his rolodex and calling old girlfriends!! Classic scene for a classic movie.
And in another classic, 'The Man Who Loved Women,' based on the Trauffaut movie of the same name, but not an exact copy, there are LOTS of laugh aloud funny scenes to behold here: romantic or not! Starring Burt Reynolds and Kim Basinger, who herself has a funny scene where she times to the second how long she has with Reynolds before her husband will come looking for her; Marilou Henner also has a delicious nude scene; her only one, I believe! That said, Julie Andrews allows us a peek up her skirt and Basinger's almos-nude scene is, well, worth the viewing time too, of course! These are all Full Screen Presentations (1.33:1) and enhanced for 16x9 TVs.