The Kiss

  • 2003
  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • Drama, Romance

Gorman Bechard's his modestly produced tale of unrequited lover mixes romantic drama and a literary detective story; the result should please both mystery buffs and fans of tearjerkers. Owens-Zeller Publishing non-fiction editor Cara Thompson (Francoise Surel) accepts a promotion with the understanding that she's required to acquire best-sellers; her...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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Gorman Bechard's his modestly produced tale of unrequited lover mixes romantic drama and a literary detective story; the result should please both mystery buffs and fans of tearjerkers.

Owens-Zeller Publishing non-fiction editor Cara Thompson (Francoise Surel) accepts a promotion with the understanding that she's required to acquire best-sellers; her managing editor, Joyce (Illeana Douglas), is especially fond of self-help books with a ready-made marketing hook. But Cara finds herself mesmerized a novel she pulls from the unsolicited-manuscript pile, a thinly fictionalized account of a 1980's love affair in Paris. Though she can’t locate the manuscript’s last chapter, an attached photo of the main players in the roman a clef offers clues about the writer, Philip Naudet. Cara goes to bat for this novel, jeopardizing her new position in the process, and even begs Joyce for time to locate the author. Cara believes that if she can locate this thrillingly original writer, she'll be able to persuade him that it's not too late to publish his book. But Naudet (Terence Stamp) turns out to be a reclusive, retired professor who never got over the girl that got away; Cara has to do some real detective work to trace his steps. Cara interrogates Naudet’s former colleagues and finally finds the one-book living behind a remote gas station. The embittered writer confesses that there is no final chapter — he never finished his star-crossed romance about Claire (Francoise Surel) and Philip (Billy Zane), the character who stands in for him. Like her real-life counterpart, the fictional Claire lacks the courage to believe that a whirlwind passion could last, and Naudet’s refusal to consider writing the book's conclusion puts Cara in a precarious position at work. Her only hope lies in persuading him to bite the bullet and finish.

Stamp never gives less than 100% to any role and though this film was reportedly re-edited to showcase the eminently forgettable Surel, it's Stamp’s conviction and silver-fox sexiness that leaves an indelible impression. On a trivial note, the picture of Philip-Claire showcased throughout was inspired by Robert Doisneau’s famous 1950 photograph, "The Kiss by the Hotel de Ville."

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  • Released: 2003
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: Gorman Bechard's his modestly produced tale of unrequited lover mixes romantic drama and a literary detective story; the result should please both mystery buffs and fans of tearjerkers. Owens-Zeller Publishing non-fiction editor Cara Thompson (Francoise… (more)

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