Romance always has been a favorite subject of movies, so there's nothing terribly new or unusual about LOVER'S KNOT. Still, writer-director Pete Shaner has a penchant for whimsical invention that makes the film at least agreeable, if hardly necessary, viewing.
Cupid sends a caseworker (Tim Curry) to earth to help foster a romance between two souls who are meant to be together. Steve Hunter (Bill Campbell) is a graduate student teaching poetry at a Los Angeles university while he works on his dissertation, "How To Make Love Last: Lessons From the
Renaissance Poets." Megan Forrester (Jennifer Grey) is a pediatrician, on the rebound from a failed affair with shallow cosmetic surgeon John Read (Adam Baldwin).
The Caseworker, who is allowed only the most limited intervention in human affairs, ensures that Steve and Megan meet at a costume party. While they are attracted to each other, romance is not immediately forthcoming due to a combination of misunderstandings, misreadings, and personal agendas.
After a few ups and downs, they declare their love for each other and Megan invites Steve to move in with her.
Things are blissful for a few months, but passion starts to fade in the face of daily life and job pressures. Megan accuses Steve of being unwilling to put in the work that is required to make love last, and they break up. He has an affair with a ditzy student, while she goes back to John. At the
same annual party at which they first met, Steve makes an impassioned plea to Megan and she declares her love for him. Prompted by the Caseworker, Steve punches John in the nose.
Campbell and Grey ignite few sparks onscreen as characters whose relationship merely regurgitates standard cliches about men and women. Of the supporting cast, only Mark Sheppard as Steve's randy friend Nigel makes much of an impression. As a heavenly emissary, Curry is invisible, unable to
interact with the rest of the cast, and therefore largely wasted.
Although it somewhat echoes the style of ANNIE HALL, LOVER'S KNOT thankfully doesn't try too hard to delve into the mysteries of modern romance. The best moments in this film are on the sidelines, such as a flashback to a teenage Steve, playing the lead in a high school production of Romeo andJuliet and deciding to improvise a new, happy ending.
Shaner also adds a parade of witnesses who address the camera on the subject of love. Film buffs will get a chuckle out of an explanation of romantic movie cliches delivered by Harold Gould as "Alan Smithee, famous movie director"--Smithee is the fictitious name used when a director wants his name
taken off the credits of a film. Adam Ant pops up as the Renaissance poet Marvell to admit that his most famous lines were written only to con a young virgin into bed. And Shakespeare reveals that he gave Romeo and Juliet a largely arbitrary ending to appeal to the audience's bloodlust, that being
the secret of box-office success. Perhaps that explains Steve bopping his vanquished rival on the nose at the conclusion of this film? (Nudity, sexual situations, adult situations, profanity.)
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- Released: 1996
- Rating: R
- Review: Romance always has been a favorite subject of movies, so there's nothing terribly new or unusual about LOVER'S KNOT. Still, writer-director Pete Shaner has a penchant for whimsical invention that makes the film at least agreeable, if hardly necessary, vie… (more)