Ah, Feast of Love, what is there to say about this overlong, pretentious rumination on the many forms of Love? Morgan Freeman gives one of his textbook quiet performances as a retired professor, Harry Stevenson, who sits around and observes life through the eyes of others in a small Oregon town.
His friends are all sort of misfits who are in different stages of love, his friend Bradley Thomas (Greg Kinnear) thinks he’s happily married and is so oblivious to what is going on in his relationship that he fails to notice when a woman hits on his wife Kathryn (Selma Blair) , so he’s shocked when she asks him for a divorce. Then there’s love in its purest form as represented by his young friends Chloe (Alexa Davalos) and Tobey (Toby Hemingway). There really isn’t much plot here to spoil it’s about three different generations in love.
The film is quiet and contemplative as we watch these three generations go through the motions of love and life. We understand and get that Bradley is a misfit at love, he constantly falls for the wrong women, after he gets over the trauma of his divorce he falls for the his real estate agent, Diana (Radha Mitchell) who is having wild sex with a married man, David Watson (Billy Burke).
Sometimes when I go to the movies and you see characters on the screen that have these amazing, incredibly unrealistic lives, I can’t help but wonder wouldn’t it be great to see a Romantic Comedy or Drama where everyone lead boring, bland lives like we do in the real world? Well “Feast of Love,” answers this question, our lives would make for really long, drawn out boring movies where nothing much happens.
At least this film has characters that I like and remind me of real life friends of mine. But it doesn’t mean I would want their lives made into a film. There’s no real point or reason for this film’s existence. There’s not enough meat here to keep you satisfied. It tries and desperately wants to make a statement, but I wasn’t quite sure what that statement was. It wasn’t as simple as “Love Sucks,” as evidenced by David’s many problems, and it wasn’t that “Love is Everlasting,” as shown through the eyes of Bradley and it wasn’t “Love is Passion,” as shown by young Chloe and Tobey.
In many ways the three interlocking stories show Love in many stages, from young love to middle age where you experience problems and issues to old age (assuming you get through those problems). It’s hardly the revelatory concept that Writer/Director Robert Benton (best known for one of my all time favorite – and earliest film memory Kramer Vs. Kramer – to this day my mother still calls me a “spoiled little shit” because of that movie) came up with.
You really have to be in the right frame of mind to watch this film. It’s one of those movies that I’ll probably appreciate better on television in the comfort of my own home, than trapped in a theater for two hours.
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Originally Posted 9/28/07