Addicted To Love [retro review]

“I once took pictures of a man who ate his own legs, and you would be the black sheep of that family.”

The Scoop: R 1997, directed by Griffin Dunne and starring Meg Ryan, Matthew Broderick and Kelly Preston

Tagline: A Comedy about Lost Love and Last Laughs

Summary Capsule: Guy loses girl, vows revenge and stalking and doggie love.

Justin’s Rating: Attention au singe avec le rouge à lèvres

Justin’s Review: Among the worst moviegoing experiences I ever went through was seeing Election the week it came out. Hailed as a riotously satirical comedy, and starring my favorite Bueller (Matthew Broderick), I had high hopes. These hopes shrunk in the first ten minutes, then steadily continued downhill until the end credits, occasionally entering free-fall without the aid of a parachute. Although there’s still a lot of critical acclaim for that piece of trash, Election really was nothing more than dark, crass humor that stripped our lead protagonist of his dignity and all other belongings. Plus, you got a bit of statutory rape thrown in, but that’s neither here nor there.

This isn’t a review of Election, but I mention that because the pain of seeing Broderick degraded in that film is still etched into my head to this day. He’s a capable actor that had the good fortune to be in one of the best teen movies of all time, and I wanted to see him succeed as an adult. Fortunately, Addicted To Love takes a softer side to the Broderick-loser character, giving us enough genuine humor instead of just beating up your lead character and calling that “comedy.”

Addicted To Love is a movie for anyone who’s been dumped, or so the trailer claimed. I suppose they’re right, as long as everyone who’s been dumped either goes on a multi-month stalking or revenge spree. Me, I just get over it and move on, but no one’s paying good money to watch that on the screen, so what do I know?

Sam’s (Broderick) girlfriend dumps him after moving to NYC and hooking up with a sleazy French guy, who happens to be the ex-fiancée of Maggie (Meg Ryan). As Sam stalks his ex from the window across the street, hoping she’ll come back to him, Maggie votes for a more aggressive, evil track. Torture. Pain. Suffering. Allergic reactions to strawberries. Lipstick monkeys. It’s all part of the standard Love Scorned manual, look it up.

After a while, you’re glad that Sam loses his wounded-puppy-dog attitude and Maggie sheds her Meg-Ryan-acting-against-type toughness. They make a likable team, consoling each other’s loss through a newfound friendship of scheming. While their mutual attraction is all but a foregone conclusion, not so is your attitude about the other deliriously happy couple comprising of their exes. You set out to hate them, particularly the snobby guy with his high-falootin’ foreign accent, but eventually you realize that they didn’t mean evil by any of their actions. Sometimes you just do find someone better for you, and sometimes that’s the right decision to make even though the breakup will be painful (and unequal in spreading the pain between the two parties).

I’m not going to rave about this movie to the extent that it would be the last film I’d watch before they marched me down the Green Mile and threw the switch, but you could do far, far worse. For one thing, Addicted To Love boasts a nice array of funny lines and visual gaggitry (my new term for gags as a whole collective). This humor is the perfect salve for anyone remembering the bitterness of a failed relationship, and there’s some great quotes that anyone can most likely identify with.

Sometimes laughter really is healing, which is why you should take a movie like this over an acid-laced “all men/women are scum” flick.

Hey, it's just us, lookin' a bit evil... No need to worry...

Intermission:

  • Massive telescopes are best used to spy on your girlfriend.

Groovy Dialogue:

Maggie: You know Sam, French men are very small.
Sam: Yeah?
Maggie: But not this guy. It’s like Godzilla’s tail! He could take down Tokyo with that thing!

Maggie: What’s your name?
Sam: Mike.
Maggie: What’s your name, Mike?
Sam: Sam.

[MST3K’ing the other couple]
Maggie: Get away from me, get away from me, please, you are rude.
Sam: Oh, but I love you my little lamb, I must have you. My love is throbbing at quite a fevered cadence.

Sam: Oh my God! Oh my God he’s killing her!
Maggie: Yeah, he’s killin’ her all right, and she’s loving every minute of it!

Maggie: The only way that girl is coming back to you is if a blast of semen catapults her across the street and through the window.

Sam: So I saw this episode of “Lassie” today. And Lassie was accused of a crime she didn’t commit, and the Ranger was coming to put her to sleep.
Maggie: Uh-oh. How’s Lassie going to get out of this one?
Sam: Well, the little boy told Lassie that she had to go away, far away.
Maggie: For her own good.
Sam: Yes, but you see, Lassie couldn’t leave. Lassie just couldn’t leave the boy.
Maggie: What did he do?
Sam: He told her he never liked her. He said, “I hate you, Lassie. I hate you. You’re a bad dog.”
Maggie: That must have made Lassie sad.
Sam: Yes, it did. Lassie trotted off, very sadly. But you know what happened? Lassie came home, Maggie.
Maggie: Did the little boy make it with Lassie?
Sam: Yes. Yes he did.

Sam: He said something about having sex with my skull.
Maggie: Ah, he says that to everyone, don’t worry about it.

Maggie: Well, that is, without a doubt, the most pathetic thing I’ve ever heard.
Sam: You don’t understand…
Maggie: And I don’t mean that in a trivial way. I’m a photographer, I’ve seen a lot of things. I once took pictures of a man who ate his own legs, and you would be the black sheep of that family.

If you enjoyed this movie, try:

  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  • Joe vs The Volcano
  • When Harry Met Sally
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3 Comments

  1. I like your review and I like Addicted To Love.
    It has some great lines and is slightly more adult than most of the other 1990’s rom-com’s.
    Although the ending is predictable the film does have some originality in how they get there and the chemistry between Meg and Matthew is strong enough to make this film enjoyable.

  2. Pingback: French Kiss « Mutant Reviewers From Hell

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