February 9, 2005
MarkBernstein.org
 
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When I Will Be Loved

A very interesting aspect of this fine little movie is that it's inherently a film. It's hard to see it working in any other medium, but not for the usual reasons. (Ebert } Netflix)| rotten tomatoes)

When I Will Be Loved

It wouldn't be hard to stage: almost all the action takes place in Vera's (Neve Campbell) New York loft apartment. But, though the story is classic Mamet territory, the dialogue isn't where things happen here. Vera is wonderful but wonderfully opaque. She doesn't say much, and nobody knows what she's thinking. Campbell's performance needs closeups, and also needs James Toback's knack of composing a shot at greater distance than you'd normally expect, isolating the character in the environment. Plus, you need the Bach. You couldn't do this onstage.

Vera's sympathetic, lovable opacity would be hard to do in prose, too. Not impossible, perhaps, but very difficult. Nobody in this story has an interior life. Well, perhaps the 69-year-old Italian media mogul whose indecent proposal is the dramatic hinge has an interior life, but nobody wants to know about it, least of all him.

The IMDB page has lots of comments, almost all idiotic. The tendency of open, electronic media to make intelligent people sound like pretentious preteens is a phenomenon that demands serious study.