Thursday, January 30, 2014

Impromptu (1991)

Salute to Great Composers Movie #3

Synopsis: Hmm... selfish, self-absorbed, young, urban professionals with left-of-centre views congregate at a country estate for great music and bed-hopping. Oh my God – it’s Amadeus meets The Big Chill! 

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “Two lovers could never be more different than the brazenly forward George Sand (Judy Davis) and frail romantic Frederic Chopin (Hugh Grant). Yet they are drawn together by an unnerving bond. A bond that can’t be broken despite  the best efforts of those around them to keep them apart.” 

What Did I Learn?: Even when he’s affecting a foreign accent, and portraying an historic figure from the 1830s, nobody plays a loveable, classy, un-macho ladies man quite like Hugh Grant. 

You Might Like This Movie If: You just love Chopin... or Choppin'!!

Really?:  Impromptu is historical fiction, so it’s a little difficult to criticize on these grounds. I’m not that knowledgeable about tuberculosis, or how contagious it is/was, but I have to wonder why Sand would want to bed Chopin so badly, knowing she could potentially develop his illness. (And keep in mind, this movie takes place about a century before the development of antibiotics). 

Rating: I have to give Impromptu something of a mixed review. The script is clever, and the film boasts a number of good performances, yet with the sole exception of Chopin, none of these characters are particularly likeable. Frankly, I took a strong dislike to most of them during the scene when the intellectuals “reward” their aristocratic hosts with a mean-spirited play. Impromptu certainly has its moments, but I don’t think I would watch it again. 6.5/10 stars.

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