'Addicted to Love' touchy-feely, yet dark
May 24, 1997
Web posted at: 12:39 a.m. EDT (0439 GMT)
From Reviewer Carol Buckland
(CNN) -- "Addicted to Love" is an entertaining but
disappointingly uneven romance starring Meg Ryan and Matthew
Broderick plays Sam, a small town astronomy whiz whose
long-time sweetheart Linda (Kelly Preston) dumps him for a
suave French restaurateur named Anton (Tcheky Karyo) while
she's in New York on a teaching fellowship.
After receiving a "Dear John" letter, Sam races off to the
Big Apple and sets up a surveillance operation in an
abandoned building across from Linda and Anton's chic SoHo
He no sooner focuses his camera obscura -- an arcane
projection device that provides the movie with some clever
visual moments -- than his squalid home-away-from-home is
invaded by a grungy gal in a crash helmet. She's Anton's
jilted fiancee Maggie (Meg Ryan).
After lots of bantering and bickering, Maggie and Sam join
forces. Sam's goal is to get Linda back. Maggie's is to
Falling in love
These co-conspirators do not take the direct approach.
Rather, Robert Gordon's script puts them credulity-straining
paces involving a break-in, a lipstick-wearing monkey, stolen
credit cards and an encounter with cockroaches. Meanwhile,
they tumble into bed and into love.
Naturally, they don't admit to their feelings until it is
almost too late.
The main problem with this movie is that it wavers between
touchy-feely sweetness and dark-hearted nastiness. Its
indecisiveness of tone ends up undermining and unraveling the
Broderick is key to the touchy-feely quotient. Although he
seems to be maturing as an actor and serves up some deftly
funny reactions, he still relies on a lot of cute-as-a-puppy
Ryan in wrong role
Then there's Ryan. Her essentially sunshiney persona is at
war with Maggie's vicious desire for revenge. She's not bad,
but she's the wrong actress to play a borderline psycho.
The film's most complete performance comes from Tcheky Karyo.
He transforms Anton from a Gallic cad into a very appealing
human being. He also exhibits a flair for physical comedy.
Kelly Preston makes a lovely Linda. But looks aside, she
contributes little in terms of depth or emotion. Whether
another actress could have done better is a question mark.
The script doesn't offer much in the way of character
As his excellent short "Duke of Groove" illustrated, Griffin
Dunne has real potential as a director. He also has a lot to
learn. Screwball comedy requires a special knack in terms of
timing, setups and payoffs. Dunne hasn't mastered it yet.
He also seems to be reining in his "downtown" sensibilities.
The hokey romanticism blunts this film's natural edge.
If you want to go to the movies this weekend and refuse to
take the dinosaur route, "Addicted to Love" is an OK choice.
It's one of the few "date" pictures around, and it has some
genuinely funny moments. But all in all, this is not the
kind of flick that will hook you for very long.
This film runs 97 minutes. It is rated R. That's for strong
language and sexual situations (including some fairly
explicit sound effects and male semi-nudity).
Related sites: Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.
© 1997 Cable News Network, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.