Multiple Academy Award Winners Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep are together again for the first time since The Deer Hunter. In Falling In Love they play Frank Raftis and Molly Gilmore, two everyday people who meet first by... more » chance, and later by choice. There's just one thing standing between Frank and Molly's intense, newfound love-both are already married. It's a genuine modern dilemma, and De Niro, Streep and a fine supporting cast bring the story to life with flair and sensitivity.« less
Bobby Underwood | Manly NSW, Australia | 04/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There is a romantic glow to this very undervalued film. It is a throwback to films of the 40's and 50's. Robert DeNiro and Meryl Streep give old style performances to match the story's atmosphere, which is sweet and sentimental. It does not make light of the subject matter of having an affair but instead is a film about finding love itself. In keeping with that theme, the romantic feelings of the two leads are never allowed to reach their natural conclusion. The love that gently blossoms is one of the heart.
Frank Raftis (DeNiro) and Molly Gilmore (Streep) are going about their mundane and uninspiring lives amidst the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season in New York when they literally run into each other at a bookshop. Both are married and when they meet again on the train to work, a friendship begins. Even the small prospect of riding to work together is handled gingerly as both are good people who would not want to hurt their spouses.
As they become more dependent on each other the moral dilema escalates. There are charming scenes as each almost misses the train, and the chance to talk. Her father is sick and Molly's response is to call Frank. It is the little things that separate this film from others. Frank and Molly fall in love for the reason we all do; because of how we feel about ourselves when we are with that person.
When they finally can not stand it anymore they have a clumsy and aborted attempt at making love. Both DeNiro and Streep are wonderful at capturing the moral dilema of two people already married who have found the love of their life. Dianne Wiest has a nice turn as Molly's best friend Isabelle and Harvey Keitel as DeNiro's pal Ed is engaging. Jane Kaczmarek, of television's Malcolm in the Middle fame, gives a nice performance as Franks's wife Ann.
This film begins at Christmas and ends at Christmas a year later. It is a sweet and charming film about falling in love and finding happiness. Dave Grusin helps the atmosphere with a nice score that perfectly captures the sweet exhilaration and anguish of Frank and Molly's love. If you enjoy films that deal with love instead of lust, then chances are you'll fall in love with this one. It's a very nice film to own."
Ed Uyeshima | 07/04/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The acting that De Niro and Streep exercise within this film is truly exemplary, proving once again (The Deer Hunter) that the chemistry between the two is so powerful. They don't need to be talking in order to show it either. The amount of emotion that Streep and De Niro convey within a subtle face gesture is enormous. There remains no doubt within my mind that true lovers of the acting craft will appreciate their skill within this gem of a film. Everything about their acting makes this story so credible-- that extraordinary love can flourish and blossom among two everyday people who are currently living within two decent, good marriages.
No, this will not be the De Niro you may see in your hard core gangster filck, but that's just a sign of a great method actor! De Niro is man of many faces and emotions! He's not simply playing himself in all his roles, as opposed to many other actors. He pulls this role off brilliantly!
Bottom line: If you appreciate great acting, and are a romantic at heart, you will not be disappointed with this film. I hope that De Niro and Streep make another movie together!"
Streep, DeNiro and Little Moments Transcend Formula Romance
Ed Uyeshima | San Francisco, CA USA | 08/13/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have a certain fondness for this movie, and twenty years later, it still gets to me. I first saw this movie in a theater during a bleak Chicago winter, and the coziness of this romantic fable warmed me at the right time. Meryl Streep and Robert DeNiro - probably at the height of their respective careers in 1984 as respected, Method-style actors and bankable stars - have certainly had more challenging roles to play than the two married suburbanites here, Molly and Frank, who develop a strong attachment to one another by way of train rides back and forth from Westchester to Manhattan. In fact, this movie does not even have the emotional gravity of Noel Coward's "Brief Encounter", which screenwriter Michael Cristopher is apparently mimicking with a mid-eighties sensibility. There are even excellent actors in supporting roles - Harvey Keitel as Frank's best friend going through his own transition, Dianne Wiest as Molly's sex-obsessed best friend, Jane Kaczmarek as Frank's content but guarded wife, David Clennon as Molly's emotionally unavailable husband - but none are given much to do, other than to be left to their own unstated thoughts and observe what's going on with the main characters.
Yet the film has a certain pervasive charm and a subtle sense of intimacy that makes it seem more substantial than it has any right to be. There is a certain improvisational element to the two lead performances that contributes to this feeling and makes the characters easy to like despite upscale lifestyles that appear more appropriate in a Pottery Barn catalog. You do believe these two characters are hesitantly falling in love, and the scene where they try to make love for the first time has an aching honesty that deepens the story at the right moment. Leave it to Streep and DeNiro to make it all look so authentic in spite of some silly Hollywood story conventions, such as the "boy meets girl" meeting over a passel of Christmas packages at Rizzoli's or the one-year-later denouement that ends naturally on a crowded commuter train...as if there was real suspense in how the story would end. Even putting "The End" on the screen induces an aura of Hollywood artifice.
Regardless, the little moments are what provide the most pleasure here....the way Molly explains how she has made mu-shu pork with Aunt Jemima's pancake mix; how Frank practices his line for the "accidental" run-in with Molly; the montage of silly, Dallas/Dynasty-era outfits that Molly tries on to look good for Frank. These moments provide a nice counterbalance to the more predictable scenes of regret and guilt that are inevitable with this story. Ulu Grosbard directs the actors with a sure hand, though the pacing drags at times, especially toward the end when he suddenly tries to build some suspense with a speeding car in a downpour. Dave Grusin provides a nice, FM-lite score highlighted by "Mountain Dance", the syncopated theme that plays throughout the movie. This film is definitely recommended for those seeking Hollywood-style romance with two acting heavyweights who inject some nice realism into a slight story. "
The Way They Were.....
Renee | BROOKLYN, NY USA | 06/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I came across this film quite by accident one morning while channel surfing and became totally wrapped up in it.Why this movie didn't click with a larger audience when it was first released, I will never understand. It's a woman's flick. A love story. But also a wonderful showcase for the talents -- and chmistry -- between Meryl Streep and Robert DeNiro. Did you love Meryl in Bridges of Madison County with Clint Eastwood? Then you will love this. And I don't think I've ever seen Robert DeNiro more at ease in a love story than he is in this. When you watch this movie, keep observing the body language and facial expressions of the two stars -- most especially in the final scene of the film. (I don't think Meryl has ever looked more beautiful). If you've never seen this film, you owe it to yourself to rent or buy the dvd."
A true gem that deserves more recognition
z hayes | TX | 05/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Even after all these years, this remains one of my favorite love stories. It is a different kind of love story though..the two main protagonists played by Robert de Niro and Meryl Streep are married to other people, yet a chance encounter leads to another meeting, and eventually a friendship develops...this later moves on to something more deep, an attraction and love that transcends everything else. Hollywood doesn't make movies like this anymore...there is no gratutious sex or foul language, just a slow simmering attraction that grows from strength to strength. The two leads are good people who don't really want to hurt their respective spouses, and so their moral dilemma...how do they realise their true feelings for each other whilst not hurting their spouses? Adultery is such a delicate subject, yet is handled here with gentleness and finesse. De Niro & Streep give exacting performances, with tremendous depth and insight into the psyche of a pair of 'lovers' who desire to be with each other yet also want to remain faithful to their marriage vows. A classic love story & definitely a keeper!"