Love Amongst the Sleep Deprived

When it comes to love and laughter on the silver screen, I’ve always lumped Addicted to Love in with One Fine Day, two films released years after the Depression-era heyday of the screwball comedy. Both of these movies were deliberate homages to the screwball’s of the past, which says a lot about the enduring popularity of the classic film genre. Although the golden age of screwball comedy was the 1930s and ’40s, the genre never really went away.
Its Pretty SamIn Addicted to Love, the black, nocturnal streets of Greenwich Village provide a beautiful and slightly sinister backdrop to a dark tale of jilted lovers. Photographer Maggie (Meg Ryan) and astronomer Sam (Matthew Broderick) cross paths when they discover that their former flames are now living with each other. Sam hopes to win back the affections of childhood sweetheart Linda (Kelly Preston), but Maggie’s only intention is to see former lover Anton (Tcheky Karyo) “in pain, hopeless and finished off.“Billed as “a comedy about lost loves” you really have to dig beneath the surface of this film to find any layer of sweetness and silver linings. Cinematographer Maurizio Benazzo constantly surprises with his careful shot compositions, and director Griffin Dunne takes a romantic formula, turns it inside out, and adds a wild card in the character of Maggie.Meg Ryan trades in her usual sparkle, to play this abrasive, anti-romantic heroine and she cuts an indelible figure, resplendent in aviator goggles, feather boa and tie dye dress. Addicted To Love is all about Maggie and Meg’s work here is inspired. Her clothes, makeup and hair are brought to a perfect pitch, but her ultimate embellishment is an unforgettable husky voice, pitched somewhere between a rasping ship’s foghorn and a bewitching siren’s song.
A Kiss CapturedIf you haven’t seen Addicted To Love may I suggest you take a look at it? At first glance it might resemble When Maggie Met Sam in Soho via Seattle, but it did bring some originality to what had become a very predictable genre. One Fine Day plays like a low-rent version of The Awful Truth in comparison.

One Fine DayLook. I’m obviously not being fair to One Fine Day. Drawing inspiration from the classic screwballs, Michelle Pfeiffer and George Clooney are charming as strangers who cross paths one rainy New York day, and fall into instant dislike. They spend the rest of the movie denying their feelings, until in accordance with the bylaws of the Hollywood Cliché Code, love finally conquers all.Diametrically opposite Maggie and Sam in their “bohemian hell hole,” the bustling Upper East Side of New York is home to Melanie Parker (Pfeiffer) and Jack Taylor (Clooney), two working single parents who meet-cute when their children miss a school field trip. Jack is a conceited New York Daily News columnist, Melanie is a career-centred architect. They’re both late for work, have their bosses breathing down their necks, and are in dire need of somebody to take care of their children. So despite their mutual antagonism, they reluctantly agree to join forces.Debonair Clooney, Heavenly PfeifferAnd so on. One Fine Day is a movie you’ll sing along with, because Clooney, Pfeiffer and The Big Apple have never looked better. From the Circle Line to Central Park to Radio City Music Hall, a wonderful lustre envelopes this film. Director Michael Hoffman revels in the city, and James Newton Howard’s score summons up the strains of the great musical poets of Manhattan’s past.Juxtaposed with the spell of Meg Ryan’s blonde voodoo, Michelle appears positively prosaic, until a soaking in the rain dampens her demure façade. Complete with authentic accent and washed out hair, Pfeiffer segues between harried and hilarious. You could have resurrected Audrey and Katharine Hepburn, wrapped them in Michelle’s giant trench, one standing on the other’s shoulders and this film could not have been any better.
Swept off her feet“The history of cinema is the history of boys photographing girls.” Or so Jean-Luc Godard has been quoted as saying. Watching the haughty, heavenly Melanie Parker and potent, pouting Maggie working their magic, I couldn’t help but think how joyously truthful this is.



Filed under Review

119 responses to “Love Amongst the Sleep Deprived

  1. I’ve not seen Addicted to Love! One Fine Day is cute. Interesting how one links films together.

  2. Evi

    I like One Fine Day more because the premise is a little more realistic and I love Michelle Pfeiffer! Your review decribes my feelings about this movie perfectly.

    I recently re-watched half of Addicted to Love and I was (once again) struck by Meg Ryan’s cuteness, but I just couldn’t empathize with Broderick’s character. In real life he would be a (creepy) stalker. That was a turn-off for me.

    Keep the posts coming, Paul!

  3. Hmmm, I love One Fine Day but I’m not sure I enjoyed Addicted to Love as much. Honestly I can’t remember much about it now. I guess I prefer other Meg Ryan’s rom-coms than that one. But One Fine Day is fine indeed, I love it more for Pfeiffer than Clooney though.

    • Ruth my love for One Fine Day is almost entirely down to Pfeiffer!
      Lovely to hear from you.

      • I think Michelle is one of those actresses who are still very watchable even in a bad film. I don’t know if you saw my review of The Family. It’s utterly horrible but I still like seeing her in it, more so than even De Niro.

  4. I remember watching One Fine Day a while ago thinking it was a sweet romance that looked awesome on the screen. It’s always difficult to try and nail down this thing called chemistry. All I know is, in One Fine Day, Michelle Pfeiffer and George Clooney have got it!

    Meg Ryan is amazing in Addicted to Love! The film fully explores her remarkable range as she portrays a flighty, neurotic, screwball biker chick with a voice straight out of a ’30s Warner Brothers melodrama. An unusually hard-edged variation on Meg’s usual manic pixie persona. 🙂

  5. I remember seeing both of these in the theatre and it’s hard to say which I like better. Agreed with Paul that they are for different moods entirely.

  6. One Fine Day does hold up very well for reviewings. You summed it up nicely – the relationship between the characters is reminiscent of older movies, and I think this is aided by being dependent on the old standbys, acting, direction and decent screenplay. There is a lot of dialogue, a lot of back-and-forth and it requires quality actors who have no problem memorizing pages upon pages of script. And Michelle does generate the perfect chemistry with George Clooney (a pretty charismatic actor in general). It goes without saying that Clooney is drop dead handsome. He brings a certain charm to the screen in One Fine Day that almost reminds me of George Peppard in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. But Michelle really shines here and is the reason I consider this to be an underrated gem of a movie. One of my favorite scenes was where she was discussing the building model with the architechtural client and the client shook his head saying he needed the see the building with cars in front of it. Single Mom Michelle opens up her handbag and takes out a plastic bag of her son’s minature cars and holds it up, saying simply, “Cars!”

    • Welcome back RB, and thank you for your thoughtful comment. It was a joy to read.
      I never get tired of One Fine Day, in fact I actually watched a bit of it yesterday, while I was doing some screen captures for the site. As if I needed to find any further reason to love this movie, I was taken once again by the way it ends, with Jack and Melanie lying asleep on each other’s shoulders. Maybe they’ll wake up and move on, maybe they’ll snuggle a little closer. Maybe they should’ve made a sequel?

      • Yes indeed. This is one of two movies from the era that just begs for a sequel (the other being You’ve Got Mail). I’d love to see Jack and Melanie today at a different phase of their lives. Both actors still look fabulous and would be dynamite playing the age group. The same can be said for YGM, where Kathleen and Joe also had strong personalities that found common ground. No longer young, but still with that special something they have, that lights up the screen as the stories continue. In fact, considering both movies are set in NYC… how about this. One movie with ALL FOUR.

        • Are you a mind reader? It’s a wonderful idea. A movie about grown-ups, unlike so many modern romantic films where the protagonists seem to be getting younger and younger, and less likeable. Since YGM Tom and Meg have done their best to steer clear of their natural talent for romantic comedies, but I’m sure they could still hold their own opposite George and Michelle, and generate that rare and elusive element all films need: chemistry.
          We’re definitely going to have to bounce around some ideas for a script/synopsis. In the meantime I’m going to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon watching Rear Window on the BBC.

          • rb

            Hi Paul, hope you had a good week. I for one am glad the weekend is here. Yes, I’ve often hoped for a sequel for YGM, but only relatively recently, thought about how that could be a blockbuster combined with One Fine Day. They are all in NYC! Basically, what I think could be captivating is that let’s say Jack, Melanie, Kathleen and Joe have successful careers. We’ve seen that already for all 4 of them. Jack and Melanie’s kids are off to college, Kathleen and Joe have younger children, and the characters cross paths professionally and become friends. The vehicle for that happening wouldn’t be difficult to write. Their friendships evolve along with a realization that they are successful financially but in jobs that are draining the souls out of them. NYC filming could be used to great effect here. In time the two couples discover that chasing money isn’t what life is made of, and they decide to go in together on a totally new venture: they purchase a house on a lake in Canada with a dozen or so little rental cottages and go into business for themselves. Jack and Melanie’s children visit on a break from school and are horrified. Kathleen and Joe’s daughters are enchanted with the surroundings but not the new small school they are attending. Kathleen and Melanie trade in business suits and heels for jeans and sweatshirts as they tackle their new venture, in the most beautiful setting. Everything is different from what they are used to in the city, and I’d love to weave in some representations on what happens to people who find happiness in the world’s natural beauty. If not an original concept, still important, maybe even more so today than decades ago.

            • RB thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. Pfabulous, there’s nothing else I can say. You have officially out-Pfeiffer’d me.
              Speaking of beautiful lakeside locations, I’m going on vacation to Lake Como in Italy for a few days next month. If I bump into George Clooney (who has a home there) I’ll be pitching your film to him.
              Have a peaceful Sunday.

              • rb

                I hope George will agree that this concept is overflowing with creative directions. Imagine Kathleen and Joe, who had children later in life than Jack and Melanie, which is a real life scenario. There’s Meg, beautiful but older than the other parents at the elementary school… and the teacher gives a welcome to all the parents on the first day, saying something like “Welcome to all the parents… and grandparents” Cut to scene at beauty shop. Meanwhile… Melanie has a work dispute with a client who wants to save money by cutting corners, Jack becomes disillusioned with the decaying ethics and continual dumbing-down of news providers, Kathleen and Joe who are running Fox Bookstores as a team, become disheartened as the chain becomes less about employees and customers, and more focused on the bottom line. While on a vacation together they discover the property for sale in Canada. The script writes itself!
                Well, enough dreaming, time to do my taxes.
                Hope you have a wonderful vacation!

    • You wrote this comment beautifully. I really do like this film, and not because it’s a romantic comedy. There aren’t even many scenes of the parents falling in love with each other, they are often arguing, or far apart communicating by phone, or will make jokes related to the stresses of their jobs or their kids. It doesn’t feel like it’s a movie about falling in love, but two people who meet each other under crazy circumstances and find comfort with one another, and share a rapport despite their bickering and contrasting personalities. George Clooney is charming in it, and he and Mae Whitman worked really well together as father and daughter, they had this warmth and sweetness together that made me believe them as a family. And Michelle Pfeiffer was wonderful in this, I pretty much like her in whatever she’s in. I kept feeling for her so much whenever her day was going wrong (often because of her son’s mistakes), but even if she was upset (and had a right to be), she would never shame her kid, she would just carry on and make it work. That scene you pointed out is a great example of her talent and humor.

  7. KG

    One Fine Day is the first movie I ever owned a VCD of. I just love that film, but Meg Ryan scores +1 extra.

  8. Ah!! the good old days of Romantic comedies. They don’t make those kind anymore.

  9. Hey Paul, you haven’t been blogging much have you? Btw Pfeiffer and Clooney make a dream team in One Fine Day. They have such strong chemistry and a flair for comedy, and they just don’t make light-hearted if predictable films like this any more. It’s like a little of the battle of the sexes where they are both attempting to outdo each other and win the best practical parent contest 🙂

  10. Hello again, this has been an interesting movie weekend on American TV. YGM and OFD are playing on several different cable channels. Usually there is nothing to watch – then all the good movies are on at once. Maybe it’s a ratings week or something. It does make me happy that new generations are getting the chance to appreciate the movie gems we love!

    • Hello RB, glad to hear you’re enjoying an interesting movie weekend Stateside.
      With the FIFA World Cup currently in full swing, good films on British TV are almost as rare as new posts on this site, so much so, I’ve been thinking of upgrading my One Fine Day and You’ve Got Mail DVDs to Blu-ray to fill the void. As someone once said they make a great New York double feature since You’ve Got Mail is a love letter to the Upper West Side and One Fine Day pays homage to the Upper East Side.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts again. You’ve made my Sunday morning.

  11. As sappy and unassuming as it was at the box office (or maybe because of that very fact), One Fine Day was one of my favorite movies. I guess I am a sucker for the fairy tale love stores published by Hollywood. Pfeiffer and Clooney complement each other very well in this film and the kids add so much to the story line. I still snort when I think about the object getting lodged in Sammy’s nose 😉 Thanks for the brief trip down memory lane 🙂

  12. I thought I was the only one who liked Addicted to Love. I must have seen it at least 15 times back in my VHS-renting days. It’s so much fun. I always liked Matthew Broderick in it too, because his particular brand of straitlaced humour seems just as oddball as Meg Ryan’s over-the-top goofiness in the movie.

  13. Hi Paul – Sharing the comment from our earlier “conversation”: It’s funny that at the time of the movie’s release some viewers thought Meg Ryan’s “dark” character was too much of a departure from her usual America’s Sweetheart roles … but for me, that saucy but somewhat wounded character IS my version of America’s Sweetheart – a hurt, wounded soul but rising above – sometimes in negative ways but hopefully at the end an overall positive way — and her hair and wardrobe were PERFECTION. Plus Griffin Dunne’s staging of many of the scenes was so good. There is a scene where Meg Ryan’s character is watching Kelly Preston’s character through the camera obscura – she’s not saying anything, she’s just watching her, almost studying her — but you can almost hear her inner dialogue as clear as a bell — “what does this woman have that I do not? why does Anton love her when he did not love me? was it me or is it just him being incapable of love?” The scene says so much when really it’s just a woman staring at an image reflected on a wall. The genius of the movie is that it is so much more than it seems … or at least it is that way to me 😉 Sometimes the best things show up in the most unexpected places.

    • Welcome Lily and thank you. I find Meg Ryan to be totally beguiling as the vengeful biker chick she portrays in Addicted to Love, but you’re right, it is essential to the enjoyment of the movie that people know and recognize the vulnerable and kind-hearted Meg of other films beneath the black leather and “Project Mayhem” exterior.
      Griffin Dunne does provides an inspired piece of filmmaking with the use of the camera obscura, Sam and Maggie (the astronomer and the photographer) see the world literally refracted through lenses and through their ideas of what love is and how their lovers should respond to them. Kelly Preston is as radiant as a silent film star in those obscura moments, but she’s bland and colourless next to Maggie, the perfect Greenwich Village vision of a woman scorned. I think Maggie’s wardrobe perfectly matches the tone of the film, and it’s great fun to watch Meg cut loose wearing her tie-dye dress, flying goggles and a feather boa.
      The only downside of Maggie’s charisma is that it makes me wonder why Sam is pining for Linda across the street when he’s sharing his “bohemian hellhole” with someone so much more exciting.
      Thanks for responding!

      • The reference to “Project Mayhem” exterior made me laugh – an apt description! I like the theme of a camera being both invasive but also showing the true nature — think about the spying/voyeuristicness of the camera obscura as compared to the prints taken from Maggie’s grandmother’s camera. The “spy”/surveillance scenes of Linda and Anton seem to be about showing Sam and Maggie what they can never have — Linda is more free and passionate with Anton then she ever was with Sam and Anton is in love with Linda whereas he never truly loved Maggie. But then you have Maggie’s grandmother’s photos of Sam and Maggie – capturing the affection and budding love that Sam and Maggie do not even truly realize is occurring. So you have the camera obscura showing them what they can never have and the photographic camera showing them what they have and yet do not realize they have. Lots of themes running throughout the movie that would make a college English student very happy to write about …

        • After years of hearing people dismiss Addicted to Love as just another romantic movie, I’m itching to immerse myself once again in its crazy world view. Although its set-up is superficially similar to Rear Window, Addicted to Love leans closer to Vertigo as it turns its tropes inside-out, looking for the human reality beneath the clichés.
          One interesting thing that did occur to me is that the only product-placement in Addicted to Love is Meg Ryan’s Leica M-series camera — as stylish and elegant an object as you’ll ever find. It is symbolic of the films own smooth elegance.

          • I find that Griffin Dunne shares his Father’s ability to see both the large actions as well as the small nuances in human inter-relations and he uses a subtle touch throughout … I think some people dismiss the movie as a dark comedy that isn’t dark enough or a romantic comedy that isn’t light enough … but there’s so much more to this film than all that! 😉

            • I hadn’t realised Dominick Dunne was Griffin Dunne’s father. I also hadn’t realised that it is he who makes a cameo appearance in Addicted to Love as the food critic who accidentally eats a cockroach in Anton’s restaurant.
              This film just gets better and better!

  14. One Fine Day is without a doubt one of my favorite movies. Granted I have a lot of favorite movies, but this one would be in my top ten. Sure One Fine Day is predictable, just as the screwball comedies of classical Hollywood cinema were predictable, but who can resist a handsome George Clooney, a drop dead gorgeous Michelle Pfeiffer, a couple of cute kids, and some truly funny and adorable scenes?

  15. Out of the two I’ve only seen Addicted to Love, and I’m really sad to say that I hadn’t even HEARD of One Fine Day *hangs head in shame*. Now I gotta get my hands on this movie because Pfeiffer and Clooney in one movie should be amazing 😀 Great to see your take on these two films!

  16. Great to see you again! I looked for you some months back and thought you’d deleted your site!

  17. You know I might have missed a lot with my absence but you still haven’t changed…your writing is still perfect …no one else can present Addicted to Love with such perfection…even Griffin Dunne would be surprised with your extraordinary portrayal of the movie.
    How are you Paul? 🙂

  18. Evi

    Just dropping in to say hi! Hope you’re enjoying July! 🙂

  19. Jen

    I never considered these two movies together. One Fine Day was good but I found the humor a bit….stale? Heavy handed? I’m not sure. It wasn’t a total miss for me, but it wasn’t on par with some other romantic comedies I enjoy. And you know I adore Addicted To Love. I usually watch it with French Kiss.

  20. Sure I like One Fine Day for its lovely chemistry and storyline, but Addicted to Love is one of my all time favourites. Meg Ryan and Matthew Broderick break out of their good girl/good boy roles, to both end up delightfully human!

  21. One Fine Day is a 90’s Classic, I’m completely channelling Michelle Pfeiffer at the moment! She’s so effortlessly perfect in this film right down to her hair. It’s the oversized coats & sheer tights that do it for me I think.

  22. One Fine Day is clearly the lesser work in this pairing but the comparisons are still interesting. Addicted To Love… when are we ever going to see a rom-com that good again?

  23. I haven’t seen Addicted to Love, but One Fine Day is full of charm. I liked everything about it apart from that little kid who was really annoying. Great chemistry between Michelle and George.

  24. These are two wonderful yet very underrated movies I’m glad to see being lifted from obscurity. I encountered Addicted to Love on a late-night of wondering what to watch, and was very pleased to have settled on that gritty yet romantic picture. Meg Ryan is so out of character, yet traces of her usual quirkiness seep through the grudge of Maggie. And One Fine Day is one fine treat, especially on a rainy day after school/work. Michelle Pfeiffer is so adorable there, and I love it when she starts to melt at George Clooney’s charm. (Even though I can’t stand present-day Clooney, I still have warm feelings for dark-haired dreamy Clooney.)
    Anyway, thanks for the amusing post. 🙂

    P.S. It’s nice to comment on your post for a change!

  25. You have a great blog here, Paul. Very interesting piece. I’m partial to “One Fine Day” for sentimental reasons, but I adore both Griffin Dunne and “Addicted to Love.” Beautiful ending to a thought-provoking piece, too. I look forward to reading the rest of your blog.

  26. Joe

    I recently saw Addicted To Love, and I’m surprised how many negative reviews this film has. Meg Ryan does a wonderful job of making Maggie come alive with all her quirks and eccentricities. I saw people hate on this for its darkness and its flavors of bitterness, but rarely did I see people who bother pointing out its more subtle and brighter side. This is the only romantic movie I’d actually watch again and again.

    Could be all that, or maybe its because I have a thing for short haired girls?

    • Hey Joe, as you probably gathered I love Addicted to Love. For me it’s the Rear Window of romantic comedies.
      I think one of the reasons why it wasn’t well received is because people in the 90s expected their romantic comedies (particularly Meg Ryan romantic comedies) to be light. The dark, romantic/screwball comedy of the 30s and 40s had long since disappeared from the cinematic landscape. Addicted to Love is pure screwball comedy, and as you say, a wonderful mix of light and dark.
      I also agree with your observations of Meg Ryan. She is a such a gifted actress. Wonderful in comedy but with lots of noir in her; she’s fabulous in thrillers too.
      Thanks for your comment.

      • Joe

        And Thank you for writing this. Like you, I love this movie, and if not for the comment thread, I wouldn’t realize the importance of lenses, light, and imagery in this film. How could I have missed that? Sam even held a lens in front of Maggie, giving her an alien like look, which, now that I think about it, seem to highlight the differences between the unlikely pair.

        • Someone once said that Addicted to Love could well have been titled Gaze: the Movie for the frequent scenes of its characters looking at each other and themselves through telescopes, mirrors, and cameras.
          I’m glad you’re enjoying the comment thread, and your thoughts are more than welcome. Out of curiosity can I ask you how you came across this post?

          • Joe

            I saw this post as I was using Google to find a good reference for Meg as Maggie. On the search return, I saw a picture of Maggie holding a cactus (“It’s pretty! Sam!”) (that line always gets me). That lead me to this post.

            • I do all my own screen captures for these posts so it’s good to hear that Maggie (and her cactus) piqued your interest.
              I know you said Addicted to Love is the only romantic movie you’d actually watch again and again. Have you any plans to look at Clooney and Michelle Pfeiffer in One Fine Day?

              • Joe

                Well… now that you mention it, I might see that as well.

                • I think Addicted to Love is the stronger of the two films (as you might’ve guessed!) but plenty of people rate them the other way around.

                  • Joe

                    It makes me sad seeing Addicted to Love poorly rated. It was a real treat for me when I saw this. I saw this movie as something special – despite its audaciousness and the fact that Maggie and Sam’s antics would have landed them jail time, I really think that in the end, they were characters who “made it” (I can’t think of a better way to say it).

  27. With no segway…I recently saw Meg in 1988’s Promised land. Nice movie but Meg seems to be the only character with believability.

    My best,

  28. One Fine Day is one of my favourite romantic comedies. I loved the way two opposites blended and the way it ends with that last scene, of them lying asleep on each other’s shoulders. Maybe they’ll wake up and move on, maybe they’ll snuggle a little closer. I love it!

  29. I enjoyed reading your reviews. I was right there with you even though I’ve only seen the second movie you reviewed.

  30. Evi

    Happy New Year!! 😉 I hope 2015 will be a great year for you!

    (I just realized I’ve blog-known you since 2012. Time flies!)

  31. Happy New Year to you!
    Time certainly does fly and a new year might be a good time for some changes around here. I’m thinking of letting the domain name expire, so I can drop the Michelle Pfeiffer element and focus entirely on Addicted to Love. From January 17th the site’s new name will be: In that Bohemian Hell Hole?

    • No no – if it’s devoted to only Addicted to Love it of course should be The Milky Way Man! Or something about optics/viewpoint or French male models 😉

      • Happy New Year Lily and thank you for the suggestions.
        I’d definitely consider The Milky Way Man!, What’s your name, Mike? or maybe The Magic, Mirror of Life. But I’m undecided on a title incorporating Maggie’s Tie Dye Dress, mainly because it might sound too much like a fashion blog. As always, I’m open to change!

    • Evi

      Change is always good! I’m looking forward to the new look. (I might miss Michelle a little, though!)

  32. George Clooney + Michelle Pfeiffer + NYC = perfection.

  33. I am Addicted to rom-coms and One Fine Day is in my list of all-time favourite movies (though not a huge of Clooney but yes some of his work is excellent).

    For me, Meg Ryan defines the genre of romantic comedy – starting with When Harry met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, French Kiss, Addicted to Love, City of Angels, You’ve Got Mail, and Kate & Leopold, and so on… She brings life to every movie she has done; the male lead becomes a great value-add.

    A sequel is something one needs to deal with very carefully. I personally believe that a classic can only happen once…

    And I loved reading your review – different from the ones one generally gets to read.


    • Welcome and thanks for the compliment. I always feel better when people appreciate something I’ve written, passion is what drives a site like this.

      Meg Ryan did indeed define the romantic comedy genre for a full decade, back when the genre was producing regular classics.
      Sadly I think we’ve missed the boat on any potential sequels. Like all ingredients in a recipe, if you change a portion or leave something out, the result is different. Meg’s charisma was unique and sadly some things can never be replicated.

      Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm.

  34. Love your assessments of both. I admit I have a soft spot for both films, and love your screwball comedy comparison.

  35. I really enjoyed Addicted to Love, and remember the first time I watched it in the theater. I loved Meg in it. One Fine Day is not one of my favorites, I’ll admit, but the whole New York romantic scene definitely does it for me!

    • Yes, Meg was great in this. A real powder keg of a character.
      I do love the on location cinematography of both of these films. That apart there is not a lot to suggest that One Fine Day is even in the same ball park or zip code as Addicted to Love.

    • I know you’ve lived in New York, did you ever visit De Robertis Caffé in the East Village at 176 First Avenue? It features in Addicted to Love, sadly I’ve just found out that it closed last month after 110 years.

      • I did live in New York, but never got the chance to be there, unfortunately. I always feel a little sad when a place closes, especially if it existed for so long! Before I left, I visited Katz Deli 🙂 Are you from New York?

        • No sadly. I’ve never even been there, although all this talk of movies set in New York is fueling my dreams of the future.They all lead back to you, New York, New York.

          • Haha! I know what you mean. That is the reason I’ve decided to live there in the first place. I just love this city and miss it so much. If you get the chance I highly recommend visiting 🙂

  36. *like*
    Addicted to Love is an interesting film since it’s themes are towards the dark side. Griffin Dunne was wise to cast two extremely likable performers in those leads, with say Christopher Walken and Sean Young in those parts it would have been a deeply troubling film.
    I wasn’t crazy for One Fine Day it was cute but didn’t thrill me. Again it was helped by the chemistry of the leads, an indispensable piece of any really successful romantic comedy. If the main stars don’t spark off each other the film just deflates.

  37. Don’t mean to stalk…but had to say I bloody LOVE these movies! Can’t get enough of them! Completely in love with Michelle ever since Grease 2 (so bad, but so good!) What an awesome article! Really enjoyed it!

  38. RB

    So here are my early morning, pre-work and not enough coffee yet, thoughts on Addicted to Love. As I watched it last night, even though it’s been so many years, it all came back to me as to why this is indeed a much better film than given credit for. First, the careful use of lighting sets the stage from the beginning, where the scenes are all idyllic golden light, which sets off Matthew Broderick’s own sunny charisma perfectly. The scenes in New York are almost all shot in the dark of night. It reminds the audience that this is a black comedy, the leads are going to be quirky by design. As others have noted here, the casting was spot on such that the likeable quality keeps the characters from being unsympathetic. I can’t really tell if the chemistry that crackled off the screen was between the costars or if they each just generated sparks on their own enough to light up the script throughout. To me it leans toward the latter. Either way it works. Broderick and Meg Ryan were both charmers in this film. I think one possible weakness in the script is the revenge motif being carried a little too far. Love lost, business lost, broken bones and we still need hives after that? A little bit of judicious editing might have elevated this film’s status to where it should be among the critic ranks.

  39. Paul S,

    I like both of these films, but never really saw them as flip sides of the same coin. There will come a stretch where I watch a lot of this old stuff again with your reviews handy…you add such wonderful dimensions to them.

    So…clear something up for me, you are running this blog and In That Bohemian Hellhole (dedicated solely to Meg?). For a while there it seemed like you dropped this blog – I’m glad you haven’t…Michelle is spectacular!


    • Thanks RR, always a pleasure to hear from you.

      In that Bohemian Hell Hole is no more. I regretted changing the name and the emphasis of the site, so I’ve quietly reverted back to Pfeiffer Pfilms and Meg Movies. Meg and Michelle will continue to share the spotlight.

      Thanks, as always, for stopping by.


  40. RB

    Happy Birthday to one of my favorite screen stars of all times. Michelle, you ROCK!
    Also happy to see the renewal of Pfeiffer Pfilms and Meg Movies. It’s really pretty unique in the blogosphere Paul 🙂
    On this occasion of Michelle’s birthday, I just wanted to say how thrilled I am that “Frankie and Johnny” is in my permanent collection. Even though Baker Boys may have gotten more critical attention, both movies are must-haves. And in both, Michelle’s acting talents still astound me all these years later. Michelle doesn’t just act, she acts with her whole body. She took voice lessons for Baker Boys, and in her words, learned enough to be technically confident and “interpret the song”. Similarly, she uses body language, facial expression, and speech patterns to infuse that same intelligence into how she interprets all of her roles. This intelligence is why you can watch Suzy, or Frankie, so many years later and still be impressed. Rock on girl!

    • Thanks for sharing Michelle’s birthday with us RB, your comments are greatly appreciated, although once again you’ve out-Pfeiffer’d me!
      After a period of doubt Pfeiffer Pfilms and Meg Movies is back for another year. If you’ve any ideas for future content please let me know, your thoughful contributions always selfishly leave me wanting more.
      Obviously I agree Michelle’s acting talent still astounds. My favourite of her performances would be the eponymous Frankie or Susie Diamond in The Fabulous Baker Boys? I just can’t choose. Both have that rare quality combining incredible acting talent and magic emanating from the screen in unique moments.
      But even bad Pfeiffer is good Pfeiffer. It’s the pfirst law of pfandom.

  41. One Fine Day is charmingly self-aware, and it has the prestige of being the one film in recent years that has come the closest to evoking the tone and energy of 1940’s screwball films. From the hopelessly contrived plot to the carefully rehearsed dialogue, Hoffmans’s film is as predictable as a stopped clock, but George Clooney and Michelle Pfeiffer are perfect together. The charisma between them feels natural and their comedic timing is excellent.
    On a completely unimportant note: try as she might, Michelle cannot quite catch the tone of a New Yorker telling a cab driver what route to take. The real Pfeiffer just isn’t brittle enough to assume the harassed state of a New Yorker late for an appointment.

  42. RB

    Interesting comment Leesa. Never having been to NY, that sort of insider knowledge adds a dimension I hadn’t considered. Maybe Michelle is too California to play NY 🙂
    A distinguishing factor for me in comparing 2 movie gems like OFD and ATL, is that I can easily imagine the leads in OFD having built a lasting relationship, whereas with ATL, doesn’t seem as likely somehow.

    • Paul S

      Welcome Leesa and RB. In OFD Michelle Pfeiffer and George Clooney, are a romantic comedy couple straight from central casting heaven. Falling asleep in each other’s arms implies that they’re going to have a future together, and I wanted to see more of it. But wouldn’t that spoil the magic?
      Leaving any qualms about her accent aside, Michelle completes an appealing, three-dimensional character and by contrast Meg Ryan’s Maggie never seems quite real. Michelle and Meg have often played roles that could have been interchangeable. But Meg has the tougher job here. La Pfeiffer looks, acts and sounds wonderful throughout One Fine Day, but if the roles were reversed I’m not sure I can imagine Michelle donning motorcycle leathers, boots and feather boa to play the outrageous, wisecracking Maggie.

      • RB

        So true. Both so accomplished, yet, I agree I can’t see Michelle Pfeiffer as biker girl Maggie.
        We’ve discussed here the under-appreciated range of Meg Ryan. La Pfeiffer has a different gift. I don’t know how to explain the unique way she connects to the audience, but she does it. You’re not just watching her in OFD.. you feel the weight of the trench coat and the rain beating down. She draws the viewer into the world of the character.

  43. Loved the way you juxtaposed the two movies to draw out your point. 😊

  44. Loved the comparative reviews and I need to acknowledge you for that. To be able to draw a linear comparison between two great artists is not easy but you have done that effortlessly.

    Having not seen either of these movies, I am intrigued and plan to watch both.


  45. Her hair conjured the image of a wind-strafed wheat field. Her body, a rake handle with breasts. There was a quirky grace to the dance of Meg Ryan’s button nose and down-turned mouth. But was she really so much more appealing than Michelle Pfeiffer?
    Michelle’s beauty is freakish, and Hollywood played with that freakishness as it did with Garbo, and thus we find Pfeiffer playing the driven career woman who doesn’t care about love or men, as she does here in One Fine Day.
    The trouble is that our beautiful, untouchable goddess was forced to be a hard-nosed careerist, who must change her ways in order for her happy ending to be realised. The only thing that golden girl-next-door Meg had to do was flash her drop-dead smile. Cue the eye roll.

    • RB

      So well phrased B, You explained what I was unable to explain, how Pfeiffer connects to the audience.
      Paul I hope you are enjoying your holiday and the summer season!

  46. I screwed up and accidentally posted before I was ready! Stay tuned 🙂

  47. Great analysis Paul… One Fine Day is still one of my all time favorite movies.. the beauty of the movie is that its not a comedy movie, but it is… its not a romance movie, but it is… great script work and yeah George and Michelle painted it to perfection…

  48. One Fine Day is a movie that contains lots of charms; not least Michelle Pfeiffer’s gorgeous Melanie, even wearing her son’s dinosaur t-shirt tucked into her tight pencil skirt she has it all over Meg Ryan’s bubblehead.
    It’s not that I didn’t enjoy Maggie’s performance, you’re right she’s bursting with star quality and charisma, but her kookiness only goes so far against Michelle’s timeless elegance and intelligence.
    Meg Ryan was the definitive ditz. Michelle Pfeiffer was… sigh.

  49. The casting of Matthew Broderick in Addicted to Love and George Clooney in One Fine Day is actually quite interesting*.
    For me, they were clearly cast precisely because they were so bland. These films are in many ways organised around the star personas of Meg Ryan (at that time the most marketable actress in Hollywood but trying to break out of the When Harry Met Sally typecasting) and Michelle Pfeiffer, who was attempting to reach for Ryan’s crown).
    The casting attempts to reconcile their competing star personas by having the traditional generic prize -the man, played by somebodies as bloody boring as Broderick and Clooney.
    Effectively, neither Pfeiffer or Ryan can lose, although even their charisma can’t destabilise the traditional love story structure. Addicted to Love and One Fine Day are ultimately celebrations of women who are positively out of patience with the male of the species.

    *It really wasn’t that interesting was it?

    • Paul S

      Bland! Clooney’s character, Jack Taylor is ogled by every single woman who drifts across the screen, and you should give Pfeiffer points for generosity as well: She co-executive-produced this film and was probably instrumental in Clooney’s imminent star-burst with the playful, amorous role of Jack.

      Thanks for your “interesting” comment Mr McFlytipper!

      • RB

        The male leads in these movies are anything but bland. If either Matthew Broderick or George Clooney are ever on the market again, I’m here!

        • Paul S

          RB if you threw a dinner party and could invite only one of them, which one would it be?

          • RB

            That is a tough one. Hmmm. I’m having to think a bit, since both are married. The balance tips in favor of Matthew Broderick and his wife, Sarah Jessica Parker. I’m a fan of hers anyway and they both seem like they would be down to earth and approachable, not to mention forgiving of whatever dinner party fare I’d be able to put together. The Clooneys on the other hand, exude urban sophistication and high society.

  50. Anything Meg Ryan pretty much brings a smile to my face but ESPECIALLY this movie. The quintessential New York-ness, the chemistry and banter between Meg and Matthew Broderick, the clothes, the ENDING. I love everything.

  51. Paul, thanks for sharing your take on these two films. I found Addicted to Love on Amazon Prime, so I will check this out. Unfortunately, One Fine Day, my preferred movie choice between the two, isn’t available on AP or Netflix at the moment. 😦

    • Welcome Cathy and thanks for your comment.
      I’m quite surprised to hear that Addicted to Love is readily available and One Fine Day isn’t. I would have thought the opposite would have applied given the star power of Clooney and the fading appeal of Broderick and Meg Ryan.

      Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

  52. I’ll have to check out Addicted to Love. I remember seeing One Fine Day at the movies when I was 15. I remember it lacking really funny lines but New York City looked so gorgeous and the leads were easy on the eye. What can I tell you? I liked it. 🙂

    • Welcome Lloyd, I hope you do check out Addicted to Love and enjoy it’s unusual, humorous view of romantic obsession. It is a good romantic movie, but it is mostly a vehicle for Meg Ryan, who flirts with the camera quite shamelessly.
      Nostalgia plays a big part in my feelings for One Fine Day, but Clooney and Pfeiffer just have the “it” factor when it comes to chemistry, remarkable considering most of their screen time is spent apart.
      I first saw One Fine Day at the cinema as a double-feature with The Rock. But the most fun was seeing it paired with Addicted to Love on a beautiful sunny day right after a break up. I very much appreciate your stopping by and thanks for commenting!

  53. I do love Michelle Pfeiffer, she is so talented and utterly beautiful.

  54. One Fine Day‘s just one of the movies I keep watching and never get tired of. It’s like home you keep coming back to.

  55. I enjoyed One Fine Day, but the main thing I remember about it is Michelle Pfeiffer’s lack of ugliness.

  56. Hi Paul, as familiar as the titles sound, the cobwebs just aren’t moving today 🙂 Although both songs are now playing in my head:) I will be on the hunt for both of them!!!! thanks.

    • One Fine Day features songs by Kenny Loggins, The Shirelles, Tina Arena, Van Morrison, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Harry Connick Jr. and The Chiffons. But the highlight is the soulful title track from Natalie Merchant, sung with a voice that could melt butter on an iceberg.
      Neneh Cherry’s rendition of Addicted to Love seems positively anaemic by comparison.

      • Oh, yes The Shirelles are in my head. What a line up and you are correct, perfect description of Natalie Merchant’s voice. If I can’t find the movie I’m going to download the sound track 😉 Thanks Paul❤️and Happy Valentines Day.

  57. Ah…you’ve identified what I’ve struggled to pinpoint in Addicted to Love – that digging under the surface for the sweetness and it’s so glaringly obvious now. I’ve always wondered about this movie…can’t remember it very clearly as I watched it ages ago but do remember that I was never sure if I enjoyed it or not…yet somehow it has landed in my DVD collection so clearly on that underlying level I must have done so.

  58. I don’t think I’ve seen either of these films, but you really sparked my interest, especially in “Addicted to Love.” Griffin Dunne has been on my radar lately and I’d like to see what he did with this. I remember him fondly from “American Werewolf in London” and “Who’s That Girl.”

    • I’ve had the song Who’s that Girl playing in my head for the last couple of days thanks to your comment. I’ve no recollection of the film, but now I’m intrigued.
      From what you’ve said about Meg Ryan playing against type, I’m not sure if you’d enjoy Addicted to Love. Surprisingly One Fine Day is the more Meg Ryan-ish of these two films, and Clooney and Pfeiffer look lovely together!

  59. Just clicked the link, wondering if you were still going here. Whoah… 116 comments!!! Love “Addicted to Love”. Have it on VHS. I am usually not fond of characters built on revenge, but the balance between Meg’s quirky badassity and Matthew’s goody two-shoes obsession work well together to pull it off. I think I may have to watch it again soon.

  60. I know I’m really late to read this post (about 3 years late), but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I loved this: “the bylaws of the Hollywood Cliché Code”. I wish I’d thought of it!

    • Thanks and don’t worry nobody is ever to late to this post. As you’ve probably gathered it’s my favourite post and comment thread on the whole site, every new addition to it is cherished and welcome.
      Both Addicted to Love and One Fine Day adhere strictly to “the bylaws of the Hollywood Cliché Code” and I love them all the more for it!

  61. When it really comes down to it for me, One Fine Day swept me up from beginning to end. I loved the storyline, the actors and the cinematography. I’m still smitten with it after all these years. Addicted to Love on the other hand had me cringing over bad acting, bad casting and a premise that was an insult to my intelligence. I will confess I did quite enjoy Meg Ryan’s crazy biker-chick, but she really can’t compete with Michelle Pfeiffer’s Melanie.

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