Ciaramine | Barrington Hills, IL United States | 11/12/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The title, The Only Thrill, doesn't fit this film, which is about a decades-long bittersweet relationship between the characters played by Diane Keaton and Sam Shepherd. While it's obvious to the viewer that these two eccentrics are soul mates, it takes them most of the film to come to the same conclusion. A secondary plot involves her daughter and his son, whose own relationship begins to mirror that of their parents. This slow moving, but satisfying film, with all the missed opportunities between the couple, can be frustrating to watch at times, but the performances of Diane Keaton and Sam Shepherd make it worth seeing more than once. They also made a great pair in the film Baby Boom."
He Who Hesitates....A Case for Commitment!
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 03/30/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Peter Masterson directs another tender film in the manner of his 'The Trip To Bountiful'. Based on the play by Larry Ketron (who also wrote the screenplay) THE ONLY THRILL follows the lives of four people over a period of 30 years, a time frame that wisely incorporates all the changes that happened between the 1960s and into 1996. Not only is this a strong story about relationship possibilities, it is a chronicle of the changing mores from the decade of 'Love' to the decade of dissolution: social changes here documented make a lasting impression on those of us who have lived that time frame.
Reece McHenry (Sam Shepard) owns a Used Clothing store in Austin, Texas and employs Carol Fitzsimmons (Diane Keaton) as his seamstress. Reece's wife has been in a vegetative state for years and Reece has had brief encounters with other women who understand his sorrowful commitment to his physically unavailable wife. Slowly Reece and Carol find companionship and develop an affair that remains on one level: Reece is afraid to fall in love and Carol is afraid to ask for more from the relationship than she is getting. Reece's son Tom (Robert Patrick) is a loner, unwilling to be in a relationship with a single woman and Carol's daughter Katherine (Diane Lane) is a free spirit who longs to be an actress and needs to feel free to have her own life to herself. As Reece and Carol develop their mutual needs so do Tom and Katherine, and if ever there were examples of 'like father/mother, like son/daughter' they are here.
At the point where both potential relationships could become solid, fate intervenes: Carol's sister is ill in Canada and Carol must move there (wanting Reece to move with her), and Katherine gets a call from a little theater in Tennessee for an acting part and she elects to leave Austin and Tom to pursue her own life.
Thirty years pass and though both couples have chances to reconnect, they don't. Finally Katherine and Carol return to Austin and Reece and Tom find Carol has the same illness from which her sister died. Reece's distress over the fact that he has allowed thirty years of irretrievable life to escape him only to have his true love for Carol surface too late makes him plead with Tom to not follow in his mistakes. The closing of the film is a touching but not mawkish paean to the importance of commitment to meaningful relationships and how that is handled is a moment not to be missed or prejudiced by a spoiler.
The writing is exceptional, as is the direction. Though the above summary may sound like a maudlin soap opera it is anything but that. Laced with humor, philosophy, a variety of genuinely touching character actors (Tate Donavan, Sharon Lawrence, and especially Brad Leland), this story captures the flavor of a small town in transition. There are many moments of true comedy laced with tragedy that mark the works of fine writers for the theater.
Diane Keaton, Sam Shepard, Diane Lane and Robert Patrick are all excellent in their pivotal roles. It is a pleasure to see such gifted actors strut their stuff! A warm, meaningful movie. Grady Harp, March 05"
Love is difficult
W. R. Baker | Austin, Texas USA | 03/08/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Reece (Sam Shepard) loves Carol (Diane Keaton), and Carol loves Reece, but Reece can't commit to Carol until it's too late. Also, Reece's son, Tom (Robert Patrick), loves Katherine (Diane Lane) and, eventually, Katherine loves Tom. But, Reece has to step in and make Tom go after Katherine so that Tom doesn't suffer the same fate as he (Reece) does. On the whole, this little film, which was shot mostly in Lockhart, Texas, and directed by Pete Masterson, ain't too bad. The actors do a good job, and the movie shows us viewers a little more about the joys, sorrows, and complications of life and love. It's an enjoyable film."
Don't Wait Until it is Too Late
Lisa Verson | Dayton, OH | 08/16/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Only Thrill" tells the story of two people (Diane Keaton and Sam Shepard) who are destined to be together, but because of certain insecurities, never do connect. Now their kids, her daughter and his son are falling in love and are about to make the same mistake their parents did. This was a wonderful story that brought tears to my eyes (not many movies do that to me) in certain parts as well as laughter. One of the things that I loved was how they showed the characters through the course of about 30 years. It was such a bittersweet and wonderful movie to watch."
Soul mates kept apart by the fear of saying I love you
Lisa Verson | 04/13/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Diane Keaton and Sam Sheppard play long time friends who deeply belong together. Everyone knows it including them, but the comfortable life of their friendship and their inconceivable ability to express their feelings for one another leaves them alone. Unfortunately in the end it is too late for them, but their life serves as a what not to do guide for their children."