On Film and Film Watching: My (Inadvertent)Saturday Night Diane Lane Film Festival

“Certain things leave you in your life and certain things stay with you. And that’s why we’re all interested in movies- those ones that make you feel, you still think about. Because it gave you such an emotional response, it’s actually part of your emotional make-up, in a way.”― Tim Burton, Burton on Burton

 Last night I – not by design, mind you – watched a Diane Lane double feature out in the “common room” where the big TV and home theater sound system are.

First up, the Caregiver and her boyfriend expressed an interest in watching A Little Romance, a 1979 film directed by George Roy Hill (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting) and adapted by Allan Burns (The Mary Tyler Moore Show) and Hill from the 1977 novel  E=mc2 Mon Amour  by Patrick Cauvin.  

A Little Romance stars Diane Lane (who was 14 at the time), Sir Laurence Olivier, and Thelonius Bernard. Filmed entirely in France – mostly Paris – and Italy, this “small” 108 romantic comedy is best known for being Lane’s cinematic debut, as well as being one of Olivier’s last nine films.

Per A Little Romance’s Wikipedia entry:

The film follows a French boy and an American girl who meet in Paris and begin a romance that leads to a journey to Venice where they hope to seal their love forever with a kiss beneath the Bridge of Sighs at sunset.

Lauren King: I used to think, maybe a long time ago, like… like in the time of the pharaohs or Louis the XIII that, there was somebody, made just perfect for me. I mean, when you think about it and consider that your feelings of love begin when you’re about ten, and if you live to say 70, well, that’s pretty limiting because what chance is there that he’ll be alive at the same time you are? You know?

Daniel Michon: I feel the same things. I mean, even if she lived in my lifetime. What if my perfect woman lived in India or California or Brazil? What chance is there that I’d meet her when I live in La Garenne?

Lauren King: It’s incredible isn’t it?

Daniel Michon: Absolutely… incredible.

An episode of At the Movies in which the late Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel review some 1979 movies, including Hanover Street and A Little Romance.

 Before I acquired the Blu-ray of A Little Romance on Amazon, I had only seen it once. It must have been during my last year of high school or even my first year of college because it was aired on a Miami “over the air” TV station with commercial breaks. I don’t think I saw the whole thing at the time, but I remember how impressed I was at Lane’s acting skills even then.

As I said earlier, A Little Romance is a short film – romantic comedies rarely have running times of over two hours – so it was still “early” by weekend standards when my two contemporary housemates went to bed. Thus, I was on my way to my bedroom to catch something on Netflix when the Caregiver said, “Oh, you can watch something out here if you want,” on her way to the master bedroom.

I could have demurred and watched TV in my room, but let’s face it. I spend way too much time in one room – either writing, gaming, or puttering about on social media – so any time I’m invited to stay in the common room,  I am grateful.

I did go to my room to pick out another Blu-ray – a 2018 Warner Bros. Home Entertainment 2-Film Collection package with 1999’s Three Kings and 2000’s The Perfect Storm – that I recently snagged for $9.99 while buying a package with six pairs of socks.

I have Three Kings on DVD – it’s been in my collection since I received it as a gift in the early 2000s – but I had not seen Wolfgang Petersen’s highly fictionalized adaptation of Sebastian Junger’s 1997 non-fiction book The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea.

I saw The Perfect Storm when it was in theaters back in June of 2000. I lived in Miami then, and I watched it with a group of friends at the now-closed AMC 14 multi-cinema plex at the Mall of the Americas. I liked it, but I never made it a priority to buy it on DVD or Blu-ray until recently.

Both Three Kings and The Perfect Storm star George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg, but I’d seen David O. Russell’s idiosyncratic Persian Gulf War-set mix of comedy, drama, action, and heist a few times, so I opted to go with the more somber The Perfect Storm instead.

Bobby Shatford: [floating in the water during the storm] Christina? Christina, can you hear me? I don’t know if you can, but I’m talking to ya, baby. Do you know how much I love you? I loved you the moment I saw you. I love you now, and I’ll love you forever. No goodbye. There’s only love, Christina. Only love.

It wasn’t till I saw the film’s opening sequence that I remembered that Diane Lane is one of The Perfect Storm’s principal cast members (she plays Mark Wahlberg’s character’s girlfriend).

So, yep. I ended having a mini Diane Lane Film Festival.

Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

2 thoughts on “On Film and Film Watching: My (Inadvertent)Saturday Night Diane Lane Film Festival

  1. I remember seeing Diane Lane in Six Pack, with Anthony Michael Hall and Kenny Rogers. I also remember her playing an intellectually disabled girl who loved Elvis Presley… I think it was called P.S. I Love You.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The movie about the disabled girl with a crush on Elvis (Touched by Love) was only her second film. Although Laurence Olivier hailed Diane Lane as the “next Grace Kelly” and she was on the cover of Time shortly after she starred in A Little Romance, it wasn’t until she made Lonesome Dove that her career began to live up to that pronouncement. Lane was a fine young actress, but she either took roles in so-so movies (Six Pack) or movies that might have been good, but no one flocked to (The Cotton Club). After 1999, though, she made a great comeback in A Walk on the Moon, The Perfect Storm, and Unfaithful.


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