When you walk into an Alan Rudolph film, you can be pretty sure of what you are going to see: a dreamy, misty romance--cool but sexy and long on mood. LOVE AT LARGE, a soft-boiled, tongue-in-cheek detective fantasy, is no different. Berenger plays Harry Dobbs, a down-at-heel private eye
with a maniacally jealous girlfriend (Magnuson). Just as the two are about to have a racy reconciliation after their latest fight, Dobbs receives a call from the mysterious Miss Dolan (Archer), who wants him to tail her boyfriend (Young). Working with a sketchy description, Dobbs finds himself
trailing the wrong man, Frederick King (Levine), who, as it happens, has some interesting secrets of his own. As if that weren't enough, Dobbs soon finds himself being tailed by one Stella Wynkowski (Perkins).
Beyond its serious moments, LOVE AT LARGE has an appealing playfulness that was missing in Rudolph's TROUBLE IN MIND and, especially, MADE IN HEAVEN (THE MODERNS, on the other hand, was a bit too fatuous). There is also a looser, more freewheeling flavor to the performances, reminiscent of CHOOSE
ME, still Rudolph's best film. Both a visual director and an actor's director, Rudolph has great sympathy for his male performers--rarely has it been as much fun to watch and listen to Berenger as it is here. But Rudolph also loves his female players: his camera is enchanted by them, zeroing in
with a fetishist's fervor on such details as Archer's full, sensuous lips, O'Toole's knees, Perkins' alabaster skin, and Magnuson's severe, masklike face. On the whole, Rudolph might benefit from a good, tough-minded collaborator to sharpen up his plots and characters. Still, even for those
uninitiated to Rudolph's sometimes fragile charms, LOVE AT LARGE is a much better than average place to park your eyes for a while.
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- Released: 1990
- Rating: R
- Review: When you walk into an Alan Rudolph film, you can be pretty sure of what you are going to see: a dreamy, misty romance--cool but sexy and long on mood. LOVE AT LARGE, a soft-boiled, tongue-in-cheek detective fantasy, is no different. Berenger plays Harry Do… (more)