Feast of Love (2007) is a drama that examines several incarnations of love, with an emphasis on failed romance. It stars Greg Kinnear as a guy who is described by one of his lovers as someone so special because he has no glaring, disqualifying weaknesses, and co-stars Morgan Freeman as the wise, Platonic observer. But there is also a strong supporting cast of well-developed characters trying to find and sustain loving relationships.
Twice in the movie, Kinnear asks the following question of a lover and gets different answers:
- “Do you think love is a trick nature plays on people so that we will make more babies? Or do you think that it’s everything, the only meaning there is to this crazy dream?”
The Rotten Tomato critics score it at only 39%, and I am not surprised that the audience was more generous at 55%. I’m a sucker for romances, so I give it a solid three stars out of four.
Match Point (2006) is a Woody Allen film set in upper-crust London that examines several incarnations of love, with an emphasis on the importance of chance. The drama begins with a suggestion that it is better to be lucky than good, and then the storyline confirms that point. Allen does not have a role in the movie, although he received an Oscar nomination for the screenplay. The stars are a creepy Johnathan Rhys Meyers and a winsome Scarlett Johansson. The Rotten Tomato critics score it at 77%, and the audience liked it even more at 81%. Me? Not so much because, even though the story was engrossing, the creepiness of the Meyers character ruined it. I give it only two and a half stars out of four.
Something New (2006) is a romance drama that involves the black aristocracy. I’ve seen lots of similar movies, but what makes this one unique is that the frustrated, spinsterish female lead – Sanaa Lathan – while looking for an IBM (ideal black man) meets an attractive, available white male – Simon Baker. Both Lathan and Baker are excellent, and Donald Faisan (Scrubs) is interesting as Lathan’s spoiled brother. But Alfre Woodard is disappointing and superficial as Lathan’s pompous mother, as is Blair Underwood as Baker’s competition. The Rotten Tomato critics score it at 61%, but the audience is more favorable at 73%. I agree with the audience and give it three stars out of four.