Falling in Love | Chicago Reader

Falling in Love

It's Brief Encounter bleached and sweetened for the 80s, with Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro as the two happily married suburbanites who meet and fall in love on the commuter train to New York. Ulu Grosbard's soft, anonymous direction takes all the sting out of the dramatic situation; what's left is another manipulative nonstory on the model of Rocky in which audience interest is sustained by the perpetual and artificial delay of a predictable climax. Streep and De Niro, disappointing as they are in this radical change of pace, demonstrate an important distinction between stardom and acting: excellent technicians that they are, they still lack the unique spark of personality (and the means of presenting and highlighting that spark) that's required in a star vehicle of this kind. With Harvey Keitel, playing Tony Randall to De Niro's Rock Hudson.

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