Addicted to Love, a New Appreciation…

Inspired by Thoughts all Sorts recent appreciation post I’ve been screen capping Addicted to Love again. Get some good captures of Maggie I thought, get out. Something really captivated me though while dipping into this movie. With the sound off, it often felt like I was watching the frenetic images of a silent movie. Addicted to Love may be very familiar to me, but I’m still amazed by its freshness, and its continual ability to reveal new things. Maggies MuralI revisit my favourite films over and again, especially since my trips to the cinema are dwindling year on year. Truth be told, the romantic comedy is far from my favourite genre, especially as the offerings of today are a pale imitation of the great romantic comedies of the past, whether When Harry Met Sally… or any of the stellar flicks from the 1930s and 1940s.
Dark RoomI don’t hold any hope for a day when the romantic comedy will regain its honour, and recapture those magical moments I experienced in the 90s, I think that’s why I keep coming back to Addicted to Love. It still has a certain energy you can’t quite describe. It feels fresh, even though I have seen it far too many times.
Maggie and MaureenThis material was tailor-made for Meg Ryan, and even if I’ve often dreamed of Michelle Pfeiffer playing dishevelled, flinty biker-chick Maggie, Meg has the edge on moxie, and the clothes to match. Ryan is luminous and Maureen Stapleton is another delight in a cameo as Maggie’s Nana. She plays her few scenes to perfection, culminating in Maggie and Sam’s kiss for the camera at De Robertis.
Life Through a LensAddicted to Love isn’t a film I can extract the best moments from and write a logical review of, it just doesn’t work like that. It can be a bit silly and more than a little unrealistic, but isn’t that the point? It’s all the odd, idiosyncratic bits and pieces thrown together that make for a pure cinematic experience. Addicted to Love is a true gem, one that fills me with joy every time I watch it.



Filed under Retrospective

13 responses to “Addicted to Love, a New Appreciation…

  1. Great post 🙂 Everything you wrote in that last paragraph is so true. Since this dark romantic comedy is also a commercial film, it is bound to be uneven in terms of moods (lighter moments and darker moments), but as you said that might be the key to enjoying it. The blending of both light and dark comedy is what makes it so fascinating.

    I know this is a silly question considering the name of this blog and I know this is a Meg Ryan post, but did you ever see Married to the Mob? That was one of (If not) the earliest examples of how talented Michelle Pfeiffer can be at the romantic comedy sub-genre. This is just my opinion of course and I know the film is far from perfect, but I am interested in hearing your thoughts. Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

    • Thanks for your thoughtful comment John. I’m pleased someone agrees with me about the appeal of Addicted to Love.
      As for Michelle Pfeiffer please feel free to ask my opinion any time. I always enjoy it when the comment thread veers in different directions.
      Yes, I have seen Married to the Mob, it was actually the first time I ever saw Pfeiffer, in a short preview on Barry Norman’s BBC Film programme. I fell under her spell instantly, and soon came to appreciate how talented she was. Her six consecutive Golden Globe nominations between 1988 and 1993 are still a record, I believe.
      I have a lot of sentiment attached to Married to the Mob, and it shows that not only does Pfeiffer do her homework, but also how dedicated she is to mastering her craft. A lot of Italian-Americans say that her accent was unbelievably spot on. Even watching Angela De Marco now, if I didn’t know Michelle and what she actually sounds like, I would totally buy that she was from Long Island. I still hear her “I wanna a dah-voorce!” in my head!
      Married to the Mob proves that Michelle was born with the ‘funny gene,’ something she apparently doesn’t believe herself.

  2. Nice review. When it comes to freshness. It’s true. I recently watched Casablanca, for the nth time. And always keep discovering something new, maybe something hardly noticeable, like a shadow of the lampshade, lit up like a lattice work, afar; which adds to enhance a particular scene in the film. Or something completely different, an expression, a word, here or there. These films never get old. They age well. Most films today, are here today and gone tomorrow. Not all, but most.
    I agree, there is a very rare chance, a good Romantic comedy would make a comeback. And speaking of idiosyncrasies, that’s the best thing about a ‘good’ comedy. 🙂

    • It’s hard to say why your favourite films are your favourite films. Out of the thousands you watch, some just hit you in a different way. Once they’re with you, they stay with you. There are many Meg Ryan films more respected than Addicted to Love, but for me, nothing quite beats the complete picture the film creates. It’s wild and withering, silly and severe and more than any film I watch, fun all the way through.
      I love the fact you brought up Casablanca on a post about Addicted to Love. Both are an enduring throwback to an era before CGI, when real actors worked on real sets with real props and sat at real tables smoking real cigarettes.

  3. RB

    Your post captures how I feel about Joe vs. the Volcano. (I wanted to choose another Ryan vehicle for comparison). It’s a good enough movie on first viewing but there is so much complexity in this movie you will find new delicious touches every time you watch, not the least of which is Meg Ryan playing three very different characters, seemingly without effort. There are also both light and somewhat darker elements in JVTV which are not like any other movie I can think of.

    • One first viewing Joe vs. the Volcano may seem trite, but there are lots of seemingly irrelevant things happening in the background which are often a subtle message or commentary on modern life. It definitely rewards repeat viewings. I’m always transfixed by Meg bouncing between a Betty Boop accent, a Valley Girl accent, and her normal voice and I have no answer as to why her performance wasn’t better received. It’s easily one of my favourites of her career, and one I’m hoping to feature in next month’s Dual Roles Blogathon!

      • I can’t wait to see your Dual Roles Blogathon. Aside from Meg Ryan in Joe Versus the Volcano, can we expect entries involving Alec Guinness multiple roles in Kind Hearts and Coronets, Peter Sellers multiple roles in Dr. Strangelove and also for dual roles involving Divine in Female Trouble and Hairspray (the 1988 version)? Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

  4. Hi Paul, nice writeup… you’re obviously passionate about this movie and it shows 😀 I quite enjoy Addicted to Love actually, it exceeded my expectation as the poster makes it look like something completely banal.
    Your post has inspired me to do something like this on a rom-com a lot of people despise.:)

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