Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Robert Downey, Jr. Ouevre #9 - Only You
I've been to Europe once. I spent a couple of weeks in the Netherlands about five years ago and loved it. I can't say, though, that I've had a tremendous urge to see other parts of Europe. Would love to return to the Netherlands but the rest of the continent....eh.
Or so I thought until I watched this movie. The majority of the film takes place in Italy and my oh my is it beautiful. Of course, cynical ol' me cannot help but think what fifteen years of growth and tourism has done to ruin the beauty but the scenes of both the countryside and architecture made me think it just might be nice to head over there some day.
In the meantime, I watched a tale of Destiny and Faith. Or Faith's Destiny. Faith is the main character and is played by Marisa Tomei. When she is 11, she and her brother are playing on an Oujia board where she finds that her soul mate is one Damon Bradley (oh, the spookiness if it had been Damon Rutherford). Years later, she goes to a fair and asks a fortune teller about her future and the fortune teller tells her that her soul mate is Damon Bradley.
Fourteen years pass and we find Faith is engaged to....a podiatrist named Dwayne. She's as excited about marrying a podiatrist as most people are about seeing one. But he's nice, wealthy, stable. Why not? It's just marriage.
So she and her best friend (who is also her sister-in-law) are at home when the phone rings calling for Dwayne. It is a former college classmate of his who is calling from the airport just before he leaves for Italy. The classmate is Damon Bradley. Faith and friend race to the airport and fly to Italy (the sister-in-law suspects Faith's brother is cheating on her and needs to get away). They run around trying to track down the elusive Bradley and finally stumble across him and it is none other than our hero, Robert Downey (this is about forty minutes in).
Downey falls for Faith, Faith falls for Downey (this after just a few hours of knowing one another). Faith wants to call home and cancel the engagement and Downey breaks the news that he is really named Peter Wright. Faith freaks out, gives Downey the heave and plans to go home and get married. Her sister-in-law, meanwhile, is fooling around with a guy named Giovanni.
The next day, Downey shows up, tells Faith that he has found the real Damon and they trek further south in Italy where they find that the real Damon Bradley is a hunk of burning love played by Billy Zane.
I need to interrupt the review here to say that I may have gone with the wrong actor with this film project. Billy Zane is a hoot. I thought he was great in The Phantom. He became an icon in Zoolander.
In this flick, he's a riot. Sort of a dim pretty boy. But if you look at the credits, you find that Zane is credited as "The False Damon Bradley" (which has to be one of the neatest credits going). Yes, Zane is not the real Damon Bradley either.
Faith heads home despondently but as she's about to catch her plane, she hears an announcement for Damon Bradley to report to the information desk. She races there and finally finds her true love.
I was surprised how much I enjoyed this movie. The opening dialogue (when Faith is a kid) is extremely stilted. There are some sequences which are really cheesy. Bonnie Hunt plays the sister-in-law friend. You may recognize her from when she reprised the role as the man-hating wet blanket in Jerry Maguire. Mostly, though, it's a cute story with a lot of laugh out loud moments (some of which don't involve Billy Zane).
Downey does all right. He comes off as creepy and clingy at times when professing his love for this woman he hardly knows. But she's racing all over Italy looking for a name so who is crazier? Downey also is charming and gentlemanly and extremely tolerant. He shows a nice bit of range and is humorous.
Lastly, I thought the airport scenes were pretty entertaining. Back when this was released in 1994, the terrorists had not already won and you could race through airports to try and catch the man of your dreams before he boards the plane. The first time Tomei does this, in America, she is too late, wants to get on the plane before it takes off, but the TWA (was it really that long ago that that airline existed?) guy at the gate calls security on her.
Later, in Italy, Tomei does the same thing but this time, the full of amore Italians halt the plane and get her on it.
Fun movie, worth watching. Probably better with female companionship on a sofa and some popcorn.