Prelude to a Movie About a Kiss

alligator sweatheartsMetaphors are like smiles… or is that similes?

So I’m watching Prelude to a Kiss. And it’s an OK love story. A little quirky. I like that.

Once upon a time, Alec Baldwin was quite the leading man. Back then he wasn’t built like 30 rocks. He could cry on cue.

Meg Ryan was cute as a bug’s elbow. Under proper lighting conditions I guess she still is. You can’t say the same for me. Oh well.

Then all of a sudden about half way through the movie, everything turns bad. And then it gets worse. Meg’s got less than a year to live at one point. And I was really stressed out! What a horrible position for someone to be in. Not, Meg, but Alec. Having to watch the person you love just fall apart before your eyes.

One reviewer (I don’t recall IMDB, Amazon, or what) said the whole message of the movie was summed up by Patty Duke’s line about accepting the person you’ve married, not the ideal you had of them. Maybe so.

If your spouse was replaced by someone who looked exactly like them, and acted a lot like them, would you ever suspect?

Someone else said the movie is a metaphor for AIDS. I can see that. It could work for a lot of other devastating problems as well. Mental health issues, drugs, whatever. So in that way it could represent any issue that’s turns your loved ones into unrecognizable strangers. Ouch.

For half the movie, Meg Ryan is playing somebody else. They didn’t telegraph this by suddenly giving her a German accent, or a facial tick, or any change of body language. There is a difference, an extra languor, that works just about right. Maybe she’s really not somebody else… It would have been a sure-fire giveaway if her eyes were glowing red.

But the old guy, for most of his screen time he’s supposed to be Meg Ryan. I didn’t buy it. I almost did, before he ever talked. But as soon as he opens his mouth, I know it’s not Ms Meg. He did a good job of mimicking her eyes, but none of the rest of it worked for me. If Alec Guinness hadn’t dropped out of the production, maybe he could have pulled it off.

Stanley Tucci is in it!!! Since it was once a play, you’re supposed to listen to the words. They’re very illuminating. There’s more characters, clearly drawn, here than in most movies. There’s more ideas in this movie than most. You’ll enjoy thinking it about it later.

The more I think about it, the more I like this film.

About Lyle Verbilion

I'm just wanderin' around lookin' at things. Wow.
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