A Little Romance 1979 PG CC

(242) IMDb 7.5/10
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Sir Laurence Olivier is an enchanting old rogue who teams up with a pair of charming and irresistible young lovers in a love story/comedy for romantics young and old.

Starring:
Laurence Olivier, Diane Lane
Runtime:
1 hour, 51 minutes

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172 of 175 people found the following review helpful By Susan E. Neill on February 5, 2003
Format: DVD
This has to be one of the most under-appreciated movies of all time. George Roy Hill had directed two of the best comedies of the late 60s-early 70s, Butch Cassidy... and The Sting. Then he made this gem...

Two lonely teenagers in Paris, a street-wise French boy and a sheltered American girl, both of whom are hiding their genius IQs in order to fit in, fall in love and realize how lucky they are to have found each other. With help from a romantic old con artist (Lawrence Olivier at his best; he should have done more comedy), they run away to Venice to make their love last forever. They have a wonderful adventure, and along the way, Hill pokes fun at American tourists, pays tongue-in-cheek homage to his own great movies, and shows us how beautiful life can be when you're different.
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92 of 93 people found the following review helpful By dooby on June 13, 2005
Format: DVD
This endearing tale of young love will bring smiles and tears to both young and old alike. It features two bright, innocent 13 year olds, an American girl and a French boy who fall in love. When her mother disapproves, the pair run off with the aid of an elderly gentleman who take them across Europe for their romantic tryst under the Bridge of Sighs in the ancient city of Venice. Along the way we get to take in the sights of Paris and Verona before finally ending in the magnificient Piazza San Marco and on the gondolas plying the canals of the old city. It features a very young Diane Lane in her screen debut at age 13 and the venerable Lord Laurence Olivier who famously hailed his young costar as "the next Grace Kelly".

The lovely score by George Delerue won an Academy Award but much of the most memorable music within the movie is actually by Antonio Vivaldi. The loveliest piece, titled "Love's Not Like That", which is used throughout the movie to accompany the young lovers is actually the Largo from Vivaldi's Lute Concerto in D, RV 93.

This 2005 release is the same DVD released in January 2003. The film has been beautifully transferred in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1 (anamorphic), not 1.85:1 as stated at Amazon's website. Although there are occasional nicks on the print as befits its vintage (1979), it is a generally good and clean transfer with bright, natural colors and crisp images. Sound is a very basic 2.0 mono which although perfectly serviceable does not do true justice to the nuances of the lovely baroque music. Extras are pretty limited. There is an enagaging 7 minute look-back by Diane Lane on the making of the film and her reminiscences of her costars, especially of Lord Larry. There is a single theatrical trailer for the movie (also anamorphic).
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84 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Joseph L. Shipman on December 6, 2003
Format: DVD
I was sorry to have missed this when it came out (in 1979 when I was 18), then forgot about it for many years. The other day I saw a picture of Diane Lane, and remembered this movie, and decided it would be a good family film that my wife and 2 oldest kids (girl 12, boy 15) would enjoy.
It was indeed. I don't have much to add to the glowing reviews others have already given it here; I'll just note that
1) There are so many subtle grace notes that repeated viewings will be well repaid
2) It is not suitable for 10 and under, due to sexual references
3) I wish even more now that I'd seen "A Little Romance" when it came out, its existence in my memory would have enriched my life for the past 24 years
What really makes the movie a classic is bullseye performers by ALL the actors. The hardest kind of character for an actor to play is an extremely intelligent one, only very intelligent actors can do it, and the two leads are up to it. (Too bad the scriptwriter uses the word "etymological" once when he means "ontological", it is the kind of mistake Lauren would never have made, but this is the tiniest possible blemish, and no movie this rich can avoid having a handful of forgivable glitches).
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 1, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
I was 19 years old when I first caught this film on cable tv. By chance I had come across it while channel surfing, and it immediately caught my attention. Perhaps it was Lauren, or maybe the Parisian background. Whatever the case, the remote control was placed gently on the table, there to remain until the final, moving scenes of Daniel running behind the car waving goodbye, telling Lauren they would be together again. Alas, it wasnt meant to be (where was the sequel?), but what a story just as well. I recently got the video as a gift after telling my girfriend it belonged in my "top five" of all time. After seeing it again, I still feel that way. Though in all actuality that "top five" contains from 10 to 20, it is an exclusive list nonetheless. I would recommend this picture to anyone who has a tendency to dream from time to time, is young enough (at heart) to believe in those dreams, and can accept that, although this is fiction, it succeeds in allowing one to escape the reality of everyday life, chosing instead, to be young, carefree and full of hope. I loved it!
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By rhaine@chaffey.org on December 18, 1998
Format: VHS Tape
The first time I saw this film was about twenty years ago, with my wife, eating pizza on a Friday night, in the English Department office, because we didn't have a VCR and the school did. We thoroughly enjoyed it; we cried and we kissed, just as Lauren and Daniel were kissing under the Bridge of Sighs in Venice, with the bells tolling in the "Campanile", at sunset, in a gondola. I don't know if the legend is true, but we still love each other very much, and hopefully will love each other forever. I show the film each year to my first year French students, because it is a great love story between an American girl and a French boy, and there is a lot of French culture to be learned from the film. I've probably seen it over fifty times, so I know most of the dialogue. There's just enough French language for them to understand, but not be overwhelmed. I look forward to every scene, but especially when the two young lovers finally make it to Venice with the help of Julius, played impeccably by Sir Laurence Olivier. My students, mostly 9th and 10th graders, cry a little bit inspite of themselves. Perhaps someday my wife and I will make it to Venice to see if the legend really is true!
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