Saturday, June 20, 2015
MAD LOVE (1995)
Directed By: Antonia Bird
Written By: Paula Milne
Cinematography By: Fred Tammes
Editor: Jeff Freeman
Cast: Chris O’Donnell, Drew Barrymore, Matthew Lillard, Joan Allen, Liev Schrieber, Kevin Dunn
Casey and Matt are high school kids in love. They run away together after Casey's parents check her into a mental hospital for trying to kill herself. Matt sneaks her out and on the road Casey starts to have Mental problems.
This film feels so inauthentic it's almost insulting, Filled with romantic cliches that it feels more made by committee. That comes across as a generalization rather than an individual love story. It hits all the hallmarks
The film paints a generalization of mental illness that only shows her character going from one extreme to the next. Mood swings and quirky, erratic behavior. That makes the girl troubled to her parents and all adults but endearing to her neighbor who happens to the man who is in love with her. Who just believes she has a passion for life and is free spirited
The film is dated as it is very much a 1990's film in it's culture and references.
Both lead actors look too old for their roles. So that they seem like they are playing caricatures or generalizations of teenagers. Which comes across as broad and worse patronizing.
Leonardo DiCaprio turned down the role of Matt Leland.
Though the film is never as good as miss Barrymore's performance.
There is nothing rather interesting or engaging about Chris O'Donnell’s character he has everything going for him then falls in love with the supposed wrong girl. Which is supposed to be his ruin, but also teaches him personal growth.
That leads them to run away with no clear plan. Where on the road with no salvation or help. Then he finally realizes just how crazy she is and needs help as she is too fragile to fix. In his world yet stay together and brave the world. In her condition she still manages to teach him things about himself.
The film never quite reached the level of passion that it aspires to or that it tries to show the main characters having. It comes off as generic with no filters off brand.
You have seen this type of story done better and vividly.
Here they try to more fill out the soundtrack with popular music and bands at the time to frame it but distract the audience from the story.
It's noteworthy for a memorable brief nude scene from Ms. Barrymore but that's it.
It's a shame as she gives it her all, but is still playing to her strengths and comfort levels as she more seems big screen crazy. which means difficult but lovable and not totally crazy. Where you wonder other then looks her this guy not only cares so much, but stays? Is it to prove he is not shallow? Has he gone too far to turn back? Is it love? Guilt?
You think about all this distracting you from a film. That never truly shows it never Engages at all.
I remember when this came out I really wanted to see it in theaters. Even Though I went to the movies every week. Never got around to seeing it, until years ago on dvd. I am so glad I never saw it in theaters. Though I wonder if the audience would have found the film acceptable, if seen in the rift time period?
The premise could have worked if anyone had bothered to put in a effort to make it something different and strong. Maybe even original instead of a copy dressed up in hip clothes and touches. That tries to set itself apart but you realize it's an act and scared to be it's true self.
The film feels like it was just made To make a teen love story and might do respectable business on it's opening weekend, Was it Drew Barrymore's production and the studio owed her one or wanted to be in the Drew Barrymore business?
Drew Barrymore's character's name is Casey, which is also the same name as her character in SCREAM which was released a year later. In which Drew Barrymore also co-starred cast members Liev Schrieber and Matthew Lillard who are also her co-stars in this film. Go Watch that film it’s much better