Fool For Love (Altman, 1985)

This review contains spoilers (2nd paragraph).

Fool For Love (Robert Altman, 1985)

This was not the small-town drama I thought it was going to be. Granted, a big chunk of it was, but it was also some kind of strange psychological (almost surreal?) journey through two people’s past demons. Let me begin with the positives. When the film focuses on the small-town drama, it’s great. The entire film takes place at a trashy motel where neon signs reflect beautifully off truck windows, and there is little noise outside of the people. Sam Shepard and Kim Basinger both give fantastic performances as they fight, calm down, fight again, and generally accomplish nothing. While the two come off a being a bit ‘off’, I think it’s more a product of a life’s worth of confusion.

Unfortunately, that confusion is caused by the fact that their relationship was an incestuous affair as a result of them unknowingly having the same father. Okay, I’m still following it. But it just so happens that their father is the man who has been standing around chuckling and watching them argue for the entire movie. In fact, Shepard’s character even has interactions towards the beginning of the film where it seems he doesn’t even know the man. Now maybe this man is supposed to represent the past demons coming to life as the two fall deeper and deeper back into their memories or something of the such. But regardless, I didn’t care for that direction. It felt like an odd gimmick that could have been avoided without sacrificing any of the film’s themes. So, this is sort of a mixed bag.  7/10


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