The Thing Called Love | Chicago Reader

The Thing Called Love

River Phoenix, Samantha Mathis, Dermot Mulroney, and Sandra Bullock all play young country-music hopefuls in a touching romantic comedy-drama inspired by Nashville's Bluebird Cafe (1993). (For perverse reasons known only to itself, Paramount buried this movie, so you may never have heard of it.) It bears as little relation to the real Nashville as Altman's 1975 feature, but director Peter Bogdanovich, the talented cast, and the credited (Carol Heikkinen) and uncredited screenwriters (Bogdanovich, cast members, and Pump Up the Volume's Allan Moyle) are so busy conjuring up a charming world of their own that I didn't mind. Mathis and Bullock are especially good, and Phoenix and Mulroney, playing out a jealousy-prone friendship as if they were Jeff Bridges and Timothy Bottoms in Bogdanovich's The Last Picture Show, do a fair job with their roles. With Trisha Yearwood.

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