April 11, 2009 |
In a book-length narrative, an author gets one chance at a first sentence. Among the delights of "Love Stories in This Town," Amanda Eyre Ward's first collection of short fiction (it follows three well-received novels), is that she gets 12. "I first heard about Cipro at the potluck," begins the first story in the book. "It's a crappy coincidence that on the day James asks for my hand in marriage, there's a masturbator in the library," announces the second.
September 4, 1995 |
"The Innocent," a ponderous, old-fashioned love story set in postwar Berlin, would surely have been far more effective had it actually been told in the '50s, the era in which it is set. In any event, it's altogether the wrong movie at the wrong time, despite the earnest efforts of its stars--Campbell Scott, Isabella Rossellini and Anthony Hopkins--and their distinguished director, John Schlesinger. Scott lives up to the title role with a vengeance.
May 25, 1995 |
All across the country critics have seen the musical "Chess" and cried "Check Mate!" And yet the show, a Cold War love triangle told in an insistent but largely personality-free pop score, refuses to yield. Originally directed by Trevor Nunn, "Chess" opened in London in 1986 where it was a high-tech hit. It later bombed on Broadway, as well as on its refurbished national tour directed by Des McAnuff in 1990.
September 18, 1987 |
"On the Line" (Beverly Center Cineplex and the Los Feliz) is a sadly familiar instance of a distinguished European film maker losing his bearings in an English-language production. Made on a shoestring budget over four years, it is a meandering love story about an incredibly naive border patrol trainee (Jeff Delger) and a beautiful prostitute (Victoria Abril) working in a tawdry Nuevo Laredo compound.
December 21, 1996 |
Prequels can be the most calculated form of television, often little more than artificial efforts to cash in on the success of earlier programming. But "Timepiece," a holiday drama, is an exception. Based on Richard Paul Evans' book of the same title, it is a warm and appealing chronicle of the period preceding "The Christmas Box," an earlier Evans book that was transformed into one of 1995's best-rated seasonal films.
June 24, 1988 |
Henry Eilbert says he knows that making unionism the theme of the musical he is staging at the Jewish Center of Garden Grove on Sunday night does not exactly put him in step with the Reagan era or the generally conservative atmosphere of Orange County. But he doesn't think anybody will mind. "It's mostly a love story, and it has a happy ending!" he said of the show "It Must Be a Union." "People will love it."
January 6, 1989 |
The first play in the 20th year of the Cassius Carter Centre Stage is a love story, and it may be a hot one. Playwright Lanie Robertson expects several New York producers to check out his "Alfred Stieglitz Loves O'Keeffe" at the Carter for a possible on- or off-Broadway production. The Old Globe presentation, which opens Saturday, marks the third in five already scheduled regional productions of the play. The Globe is the only theater that has asked for script changes from Robertson.
March 14, 1991 |
"The Vampire Memoirs"--"an intimate odyssey into the life and times of a 1,600-year-old vampire"--is co-authored by Mara McCuniff and Traci Briery. Sounds reasonable enough--except that anyone who reads the paperback horror novel's prologue will discover that Mara McCuniff is actually the main character: a woman born in a tiny British village in the 4th Century, becoming first a warrior, then a wife and mother.
December 20, 1987 |
Romantics will love this tiny historic town just north of Santa Barbara and Solvang. It started as a love story. In the mid-1800s William N. Ballard settled in the Santa Ynez Valley and established a stagecoach station on the Yuma-to-San Francisco run. He also took care of business interests for a friend, George Lewis, a landowner and surveyor who was spending considerable time in Mexico. When Ballard became seriously ill he sent East for his fiancee, Cynthia Lunsford, and they were married.
March 17, 1994 |
"Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!" was threatened with an X rating when it came out in 1990, just another example of how misguidedly impulsive the coding system can be. Pedro Almodovar's movie (closing out UC Irvine's "Tragedy and Comedy" series Friday night) isn't nearly as cheeky and insinuating as his earlier films such as "Law of Desire" (1987) and "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" (1988), which look at human relationships (especially where sex is involved) in farcically adult ways.