(jp) wrote: Veteran horror authors John Skipp & Craig Spector wrote the original script of this film, but it was later greatly changed and I'm guessing their version had to have been better than this final product. After turning in their script, the authors said New Line Cinema execs responded with, "'You wrote a Nightmare on Elm Street movie like Stanley Kubrick would do it.' And we said, 'Cool, huh?' They said, 'No.'" What's left is a ridiculous story about Freddy wanting to become a real boy by possessing the unborn child of the film's heroine, which leads to all sorts of pregnancy related dream sequences and fallopian tube imagery. This entry has all of the franchise elements that brought the series low; way too many Freddy one-liner wisecracks that reduced him to a jester, along with too elaborate of dream sequences that went far astray of the much more identifiable of nightmare elements of the first film (not being able to run, falling, fire, fear of dark spaces, etc.). Stephen Hopkins directed this film and would follow-up with the underrated "Predator 2." Although he has some interesting visuals here and there, the film is simply not that scary or interesting. Gory, yes, but scary, no. As I've said before, viewers really only should watch the first, third, and final film of this franchise (though "Freddy vs. Jason" is pretty fun).
(au) wrote: Well, I guess Arthur Miller did, in fact, write something as cheery as a love story from time to time after all. I am very, very forcibly kidding, partly because this is Arthur [u]H[/u]iller, and largely because this film by no means ends up going down an especially cheery path. This is a seriously lazy title, but it's not exactly misleading, because when I hear about a dramatic "love story", I'm usually expecting something kind of depressing, at least ever since this film. This thing was trite and a groundbreaker at the same time, which would be awesome if the usual romantic drama released afterwards were better or, well, watchable. I exaggerate, but forget Nicholas Sparks for ruining this formula, which actually might not have ever been that good, yet can at least be respected more back in 1970, because kids had much better taste in music back then. In all fairness, this film has a classical soundtrack, which makes it a cheater, because the music goes to show you that kids have ostensibly been gradually losing taste in music ever since Bach and Mozart (That's right, this film is so clichd that it plays some Bach and Mozart), while giving the film enough of a sense of sophistication for the film awards to embrace it when it first came out. Maybe people got so sour about the film in retrospect because they couldn't help but think about Ryan O'Neil's later work (This film is some kind of a curse, I tell you), although it doesn't help that this film, as decent as it is, has plenty of flaws. The film drags its feet from time to time, or at least feels as though it does, because among some of the bigger issues in this film is cold spells to Arthur Hiller's storytelling which range from a little bland to rather dull, with a limited flare that doesn't exactly more sparkling through the years. This film is betrayed by its own legacy, because, really, its formula has gotten to be so overexplored that it all but makes this film feel trite, and it doesn't help that there are many areas in which this film does, in fact, hit tropes, and hard, with familiar themes and conflicts, driven by characters who aren't quite familiar enough. It's not like the developmental shortcomings thin down the background of the characters, as much as they water down a sense of motivation in the characterization, for the initially obnoxious characters come to take on humanizing roles that seem to come in from out of nowhere, just as the romance itself feels rushed into, not quite fleshed out enough as convincing on paper for you to embrace the melodramatics which thrive on the romantic dynamics. Really, I don't think there's any overlooking the histrionics which define this story, for this is a conceptually compelling, but unlikely narrative is manufactured in a lot of areas in its characterization and conflicts, made all the more contrived by subtlety issues to storytelling. The directorial storytelling is usually pretty subtle, maybe too much so, while the writing proves to be intelligent in other areas, but certain themes and dialogue pieces are thrust against your head, as are what characterization there are which are comprehensively distinguished, thus making for an occasionally cheesy script whose directorial interpretation also has its moments of atmospheric bloating, which punctuates directorial dry spells a bit too intensely. When the storytelling resonates, it cuts fairly deep, and when it doesn't, ambition only stresses the other shortcomings of this slow, dated, formulaic and rather contrived melodrama, holding the final product pretty decidedly into underwhelmingness. It's remarkable that the film manages to border on rewarding, but, make no mistake, the final product comes closer to being consistently compelling than it does to falling flat, having plenty of taste, even in music. There's not much to the film's soundtrack of limited dynamicity and even more limited prominence, but the classical pieces, both unoriginal and composed for the film by Francis Lai, are beautiful by their own right, and complimentary to the tasteful heart of a drama whose sophisticated musical sensibilities add to a sense of importance. It certainly helps that the story itself is worthy, watered down partly by its dated aspects and contemporary convention, and largely by its melodramatics, but still promising as a portrait on the young love, and how it fairs against conflicts in family, living condition and, of course, health. The subject matter followed in this melodrama is valuable stuff, and the final product could have rewarded if Erich Segal's script was more realized, without the inorganic exposition and contrivances which play a huge role in holding the film back that goes challenged by clever, memorable dialogue (Ironic how the woman said, "Love means never having to say, 'I'm sorry'"), and some profound highlights in manufactured, but distinguished characterization which embodies, at least for the time, relevant themes, and intriguing dramatic layers. I wish there was more subtlety to the storytelling, but there is a fair bit of it, and it's largely found within direction by Arthur Miller that also has its overbearing moments to punctuates often dull dry spells, but is particularly tasteful, with delicate pacing that establishes a sense of thoughtfulness, whose application over more realized touches in drama begets genuine resonance. The film comes down to some heavy twists and turns which people these days can surely predict, even if they're not familiar with this film, yet which remain pretty powerful in their saving an underwhelming melodrama as, well, slightly less underwhelming, charged by performances that are consistently endearing. The characters have their unlikable, or at least obnoxious traits, and they stand to be much more nuanced, but only in their writing, for lead performers Ryan O'Neil and Ali MacGraw, despite keeping consistent with solid charisma and an electric chemistry, are layered in their subtle, sometimes piercing emotional commitment to the portrayal of budding love's having to face many a harsh reality. I suppose O'Neil and MacGraw technically carry the film, because even though they can't quite get the final product to a rewarding point, they are what push this messy melodrama to the brink, with the help of some inspired storytelling that make things plenty engaging, for all of the ambitions and misguidance. Bottom line, there are some draggy, or at least bland spots, as well as spots which either have become dated or were formulaic to begin with, while undercooked characterization, melodramatics and certain subtlety issues to storytelling truly limit momentum, until the final product falls as underwhelming, but not so much so that a tasteful soundtrack, worthy subject matter, often smart script, thoughtful direction, and effective performances by Ryan O'Neil and Ali MacGraw fail to secure Arthur Hiller's "Love Story" at the brink of rewarding as a flawed, but enjoyable breakthrough in tragic romantic melodrama. 2.75/5 - Decent