Benning is luminous but Katharine Hepburn steals this one
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 01/09/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Love Affair" is a remake of an "Affair to Remember" which was made popular because it was rather important in the plot of "Sleepless in Seattle." Just to make it more interesting, "Affair to Remember" was a remake of the original "Love Affair." Warren Beatty plays Mike Gambril, an ex-football star (an obvious allusion to Beatty's "Heaven Can Wait," which was a much more successful remake of an older film) who meets Terry McKay, played by Annette Benning, on a flight to Sydney. The plane is forced down and the two end up on a slow boat back to civilization. Both are engaged to other people, but since these two are married in real life and since very few people will have seen "Love Affair" without having seen or heard about the earlier versions, it is pretty clear this is not going to work out. But they want to take time to be sure, and so an ill-fated rendezvous at the Empire State Building is set up to confirm their destinies. Katharine Hepburn's performance as Michael's Aunt Ginny is touted on the box cover, not just because "Love Affair" proved to be the final theatrical film in her storied career (she did appear in one more made for television movie), but because she steals the show in her brief scene. Hepburn is abetted in this effort by the local, a glorious beautiful South Pacific island as lush and as a green as any you have ever seen. There is also a wonderful set up for her scene, where Beatty asks Benning to go see his aunt and the couple take a series of scenic jaunts to the mountainside home, punctuated by Benning's comic asides. The role of the hero's aunt has always been a wonderful character piece for an older actress in every one of the film versions of this story, but certainly Hepburn is given more interesting things to say. For those who are shocked to hear Hepburn use foul language, you should remember that thirty years earlier she was probably the first person to say the word "fornication" on film in "The Lion in Winter." As Ginny explains her perspective on what type of bird Beatty happens to be and what that means for his future, there is no difference between Benning and her character, both of whom are clearly basking in Hepburn's presence. As always, Beatty surrounds his main characters without outstanding supporting players, from Kate Capshaw and Pierce Brosnan as the original intendeds with whom no one can find fault, to Brenda Vaccaro and Paul Mazursky as other couple on the boat, to Garry Shandling and Harold Ramis as Mike's agent and financial adviser, to Chloe Webb as Terry's confidant after "the accident." If, in the final analysis, Beatty is not up to the pivotal moment in the climax where the pieces come together, then it is because the memory of Cary Grant's performance in the previous remake is just too overwhelming. Certainly Benning shines throughout the film, so there is no doubt why he is after her even if the opposite is established more by Beatty's reputation, wonderfully established in a series of news flashes in the film's opening, than by anything the actor actually does in the film itself. He looks good, but she looks great and you end up thinking Beatty remade this film not just because its story hits home to him but also because he really wants to show off his wife. Ultimately it is the women in this film who redeem it and make it more than what Annette and Warren did on their summer vacation, although the fact that the woman is the more appealing character this time is probably not enough to make it come out ahead of the Grant/Kerr version for most of us."
One of the Best Romance Movies
Luie Larios | dubai, u.a.e. | 03/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have seen An Affair to Remember long before I watched Love Affair. Altho "An Affair..." became one of my favorite classics (along w/ Gone with the Wind and Casablanca), I personally prefer Love Affair because i was more moved by it. the actors are brilliant, especially Ms. Bening, whose eyes captivate the audience. she just GLOWS in it and Mr Beatty is effortless in playing himself. they give the film a sense of reality. the movies basks the audiences in feeling of excitement, despair and hope of falling in love. it's a classic. so yeah, don't forget the box of tissue. i can't get enough of this film!"
An Affair to Remember
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie has been terribly underrated! I saw it when it first came out and, due to my prejudice towards the 1957 Cary Grant/Deborah Kerr film, I couldn't see just how good it really is. I recently saw it again and absolutely love it now! Beatty is charming and Annette Bening, as in "The American President", glows toward the camera. She is simply one of the best actresses and the greatest stars around, in my opinion. Katharine Hepburn is perfect as Beatty's aunt. Give this movie another chance -- if you love romantic movies, you'll love this "Love Affair"."
LOVE AFFAIR - JUST ANOTHER UPDATED CLASSIC THAT DIDN'T WORK
Grandmah's Affair | Eau Claire, WI, USA | 06/08/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Many of the reviews I read felt strongly in favor of this remake, but some of the people had not seen "An Affair to Remember". Cary Grant & Deborah Kerr had the spark so lacking in this "Love Affair" remake. The original "Love Affair" with (forgive me, I can only remember Irene Dunne as Terry, and my opinion that film was not as good as this "Love Affair", however. I missed hearing the original scoring of "An Affair to Remember", but Annette Benning's music with the children was lovely.
As most of the reviews that stated they were in favor of "An Affair...", I missed the climactic ending with Cary Grant's reactions, and also the shipboard scene where he want's to be "worthy of her love".
I don't wish to underrate or "dump" on this film, but I wish all reviewers would watch the Grant/Kerr version just once. I believe they will become "old movie buffs" too. Thanks for reading my review."
From a guy's point of view...
Michael E. Day | Indianapolis | 06/30/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Okay, I'm not into chick flicks, but I like romantic movies. This movie is amazing because it avoids the pitfalls that alot of romantic movies fall into by not mixing an essential amount of testosterone necessary to keep a guy feeling like he's part of the scenario. (I absolutely abhored Best Friend's Wedding.) Movies that are of the same genre as this: An Affair to Remember? A classic, but by the time I was old enough to appreciate romance movies, I was intolerant of Cary Grant's accent. Sleepless in Seattle had it's moments. BUT, Love Affair nails it! It's funny, clever, romantic... Annette Benning commands the screen. Warren Beatty--I mean, does this movie strike an exact chord, or what? The chemistry is perfect because, aside from the tragedy it entails, it IS a true story! WB is depicted as a famous womanizing stud (which anybody who's been around for a few years is well aware that he actually was). One day traveling on a plane he meets the woman that's his soulmate. The way she 'operates' him is poetry in motion. Bottom line: The cast, the soundtrack, the storyline, the locations, Ray Charles in concert doing a Christmas song, the cruise ship, the walk on an island in Tahiti, the humor, etc. I could go on & on about how much I love this movie. I recorded this on cable several years ago and can't tell you how many times I've watched it. (Now it's on DVD...Y-E-A-H!!!) Ladies, are you having a hard time of getting your man to watch a romantic movie? Well this is your ticket! Take it from a guy, this movie absolutely rules! Just make sure you get some tissues for him too!"