Review: True Love (1989)

True Love

True Love

Rating

Director

Nancy Savoca

Screenplay

Nancy Savoca, Richard Guay

Length

1h 44m

Starring

Annabella Sciorra, Ron Eldard, Aida Turturro, Roger Rignack, Star Jasper, Michael J. Wolfe, Kelly Cinnante, Rick Shapiro, Suzanne Costollos, Vinny Pastore

MPAA Rating

R

Buy/Rent Movie

Review

PREFACE:
In the early 2000s, I was writing reviews for an outfit called Apollo Guide Reviews. That website has since been closed down.

Attempting to reconstruct those reviews has been an exercise in frustration. Having sent them to Apollo Guide via email on a server I no longer have access to (and which probably doesn’t have records going back that far), my only option was to dig through The Wayback Machine to see if I could find them there. Unfortunately, while I found a number of reviews, a handful of them have disappeared into the ether. At this point, almost two decades later, it is rather unlikely that I will find them again.

Luckily, I was able to locate my original review of this particular film. Please note that I was not doing my own editing at the time, Apollo Guide was. As such, there may be more than your standard number of grammatical and spelling errors in this review. In an attempt to preserve what my style had been like back then, I am not re-editing these reviews, which are presented as-is.

REVIEW:
Cold feet often drive men to irrational behavior. When a young couple hits tough times a week before their wedding, the results are disastrous in Nancy Savoca’s True Love.

Annabella Sciorra and Ron Eldard star as Donna and Michael, two young people engaged to be married. Both are in love but while Donna is the calm and rational type, Michael is the free-spirited loner type who finds that even after they are engaged, he can continue to hang out with his friends and get drunk. Their marriage plans begin to collapse as Michael grows more distant in their relationship and starts to drift away as his cold feet threaten him with a life of house-bound servitude to his new bride.

The rest of the characters are either Michael’s friends, who cause much of his residual doubt, or Donna’s family who are, on most occasions, fully supportive of their precious girl’s eventual life as wife. All of them give archetypal performances that leave no room for criticism. True Love is a movie about an unstable relationship that thwarts the stereotypical image of a loving, happy, well-adjusted relationship. The two take their Brooklyn-styled accents and yell at each other like a couple who’ve been married for years. It’s this fire and passion that keeps them together.

Director Nancy Savoca, who’s best known for her directorial work on television shows like Homicide: Life on the Streets, gives us a frank portrayal of a desperate relationship that, at the end of the film, doesn’t feel too different from what many of us have experienced in our own lives. Together with screenwriter Richard Guay, Savoca creates an adoring affiliation between these two seemingly disparate people. Eldard and Sciorra do a good job furthering this appearance; when they fight, it’s vehement, and when they’re in love, you feel it.

True Love is not the kind of film that wins awards. It’s a bit lacklustre in appearance. However, when you look at the philosophical and emotional core of the film, you find an appetizing journey into the realistic life of an engaged couple. Their joy and strife are inspirational in their simplicity. The movie helps show us that the future can be wrought with mistrust and anger but we will ultimately rewarded for our diligence and patience.

Audiences are bound to have mixed opinions of True Love, as it’s not a gorgeous blockbuster romance like so many pseudo-emotional movies. It’s an honest, thoughtful look at a real relationship and the various pitfalls surrounding it.

Review Written

July 6, 2003

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