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IN SHORT: Lots of giggles in a funny popcorn flick.
Right at the start, let's talk about the characterization oxymoron inherent in Addicted to Love: Meg Ryan, always sweet and lovable in previous movies, as a motorcycle riding bitch in black leather and eyeliner.
Cranky loooooooooves it. And of course, Meg doesn't stay so tough so long. There's enough of an edge in Addicted to Love that, if you've been through the emotional wringer at all, you'll connect with one of the two stories that play out in this delightful flick.
Of course, if you're happy as a clam (dating or ring bearing) you'll walk out of the theater thinking the thing was "stupid," as a pair of married frumps in front of me did. Tough. The dating crowd this weekend (Memorial Day, 1997) is probably off on line waiting to see the dinosaurs, so the rest of us can watch in peace and giggle profusely. They'll just have to catch up.
Astronomer and anal retentive chart-head Sam (Matthew Broderick) and his blonde lady love Linda (Kelly Preston) have a wonderful romance in generic Anytown-Far-Away-from-New York, USA. But Linda goes off to New York, temporarily. A quick edit later, Sam gets the cleverest "Dear John" letter I've ever seen.
Sam rushes off to the big city to search down and win back his love. He finds her, with her new beau, and he also finds said beau's ex, Maggie (Ryan). Maggie doesn't want Anton (Tcheky Karyo) back: She wants revenge. [The best individual line of any movie this year has to be: "When I'm done with him, he will be a twitching stain on the floor."] Sam and Maggie bunker down in an abandoned building across the street and, using an elaborate system of lenses and bugging equipment, keep tabs on their prey while they come to an understanding of how to attack the situation.
What could have turned into a "Let's trash Linda and Anton a la Home Alone"-fest doesn't take that route. What could have been nasty is played broadly comic as an elaborate scheme unfolds to break the couple up. It's a clever script by Robert Gordon, which features a lipsticked monkey and humane capture of cockroaches as story points. Actor Griffin Dunne makes his big screen debut in the director's chair, and delivers the goods.
It's worth the extra cash for the large popcorn.
On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Addicted to Love, he would have paid . . .
Addicted to Love is a lot more fun than I expected from any flick that takes its title from a song.
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