Young Ernest Hemingway is injured while serving in the Red Cross during World War I. He ends up falling in love with the nurse caring for him, but their love seems destined to fail. Will he single handedly win WWI (no) and get the girl? Find out in In Love and War.
How?! Young Ernest Hemingway suuuuckks. He’s a young, whiny asshole who also rescues someone in Italy and gets shot in the leg in the process. While generally whining about everything, his nurse Agnes is a hero and saves his leg from amputation. He returns the favor by following her around, pestering her, claiming that she must love him, and touching her clothes and shit even though she tells him to stop. Eventually they go out on a date and he acts like a complete idiot and she more or less is like “maybe I’ll actually think about marrying this wildly successful Italian doctor that is super into me instead of you.” He gets all mopey and she ends up leaving to help closer to the front line. When he hears he’ll be shipping home Ernest goes to the line to see her one last time and despite being a complete buffoon they dance and have sex (not necessarily in that order). They totally promise that they will love each other forever, but there’s still that sexy italian doctor coming around whispering sweet nothings in her ear. Agnes breaks it off with Ernest, but while considering the doctor’s proposal has a change of heart and returns to the States. She makes one final attempt at reconciling with Ernest, but he’s too proud and is like “no, I don’t even like you. Whatever. I’m not crying. YOU’RE CRYING!” and she leaves. Ah, a love story for the ages. The End.
Why?! Well obviously love. Duh. In reality this is a story of two young people who are in pursuit of something that they can’t quite put their finger on. Perhaps it’s adventure, or maybe trying to find a direction in life other than what seems destined (marriage, becoming a doctor, or whatever), but regardless they collide at the worst possible moment for making their love work. He is immature, but sure of their love, and she is mature enough to be cynical about what their love could mean. In the end it explodes and messes them both up. Anyway, I think I wrote more seriously than this film is worth but Ernest Hemingway does seem fascinating despite being a whiny asshole.
What?! It was a strange twist when they revealed that Hemingway had to find an ancient magical relic called the Horn of Venice in order to gain the love of Agnes. JK, lolz. Not much in this one for MacGuffins, Plot Devices, or Product Placements. Really the closest we have is a multitude of endings whereby Hemingway and Agnes keep seeing each other in Italy and America. In reality she broke it off with him and they never saw him ever again. So that’s kind of like a plot device… if deviating from reality is a plot device.
Who?! Dedicated to Henry S. Villard who wrote the book and is portrayed by BMT fave Mackenzie Astin. Why is he a fave? Because he portrayed the main character Dodger in Garbage Pail Kids. We were so inspired that Patrick wrote a whole gritty reboot for the GPKU entitled Dodger that was… disturbing. It’s also fun because Villard in the film is kind of like a Planchet. He’s mostly dismissed and made fun of by Hemingway despite apparently being his good friend.
Where?! Venice, baby! Or at least thereabouts for almost the entire film. We get some really nice shots of the city and it plays a major role in the true(ish) love story of Agnes so indispensable. I gotta give it a solid A-.
When?! WWI, baby! Interestingly there is a pretty incredible dearth of WWI films in modern day. Totally overshadowed by WWII, which gets one or two every year. I guess it’s something like Slender Man vs. Friday the 13th. One has a bad guy you can’t get enough of and they keep pumping them out. The other is just a vague notion that is hard to convey concretely without getting bogged down narratively. Sorry WWI, you the Slender Man of wars. A.
This movie is fine. Makes me want to read some Hemingway and marvel at the fact that this film came out in the mid-90’s pretty much right when these types of films stopped being made. At this point it plays like a TV Movie for the BBC and I let it wash over me as such. The only major critique was that it ended at least five separate times… could have done with the first couple and that’s about it. As for Liz & Dick, I find it amazing that it was written about so extensively online as if it was the worst thing that has ever happened. First of all, ever watch the SyFy network? Second of all, the outcry at Lindsay Lohan’s performance seems totally unwarranted. Sure, I would guess that a film critic might be knowledgeable enough about film history to know that her vaguely transatlantic accent doesn’t actually match Elizabeth Taylor’s accent at all but guess who doesn’t know that? Me. She wasn’t even the worst actor in the movie and she showed off a little by squeezing out some tears here and there. It was fine. We’re fine. BMT’s fine. I SAID IT’S FINE! Patrick?
‘Ello everyone! World War I was a war of attrition with countries attempting to wait out supply lines and ammunition in fortified trenches for years on end. In Love and War attempts to do the same, waiting out my patience for what feels like years on end. Let’s get into it!
The Good – The vistas as usual. The story itself is somewhat interesting. It is almost one of those stories that seems so crazy that it couldn’t be true. A rare World War I film, and even rarer given it covers an aspect of that war that itself it basically never covered, the Italian front against Austria. O’Donnell would be good as a kind-of stunt cast given he embodies youthful naivety perfectly, although it becomes problematic I think in the grand scheme of things. Did I mention the vistas?
P’s View on the Preview – The thing that most critics seemed to cite is the incredibly, almost impossibly, bad chemistry between the leads. What I became somewhat interested in was Richard Attenborough, who beat out Spielberg for Best Director with Gandhi in 1982, acted in Spielberg’s Jurassic Park in 1993, and then directed this film two years prior to Spielberg creating one of the best war films ever in Saving Private Ryan. This is probably considered his worst directorial effort of his career which is notable.
The Bad – A bore. Not only because the war scenes don’t look particularly good or interesting, but because the story itself just kind of meanders around and then ends at least three times before finally closing out. Sandra Bullock is a particular weak spot playing opposite of an appropriately youthful and naive O’Donnell, although neither seem to be very good actors in the end. A waste of what is ultimately a pretty fascinating story.
You Just Got Schooled – To put it mildly there isn’t much to learn about this film without actually reading the book it is based on (whoops, sorry not sorry). Instead I think I’ll look at a little World War I analysis. Using the IMDb keyword there are eight films which qualify for BMT. Of those, only two are actually set on the battlefields of World War I, this and Flyboys starring James Franco. The Ottoman Lieutenant (starring Josh Hartnett) could also qualify, although it was only released to 200 theaters. Of those three In Love and War is actually the highest qualifying World War I film! Box Office Mojo agrees with this analysis, Flyboys and In Love and War are the only bad major releases based in World War I. As a matter of fact, the only other major releases since 1980 in the Box Office Mojo genre are Wonder Woman and War Horse. Which is astonishing. I think this will change soon. Wonder Woman has reignited interest in the genre, as will the upcoming Peter Jackson documentary.
The BMT – I doubt I will even remember this film by the time next week rolls around. It’ll maybe crop up if we ever watch another World War I film though. That is something I suppose. But no, it is very much not BMT material in the end.
Welcome to Earf – Alright, so Chris O’Donnell was in this and Batman & Robin as the titular Robin, which also starred Arnold Schwarzenegger who was in Expendables 3 with Sylvester Stallone, who was in Zookeeper with Adam Sandler, who was in Jack and Jill with Al Pacino, who was in 88 Minutes with Leelee Sobieski, who was also in Here on Earth. Welcome to Earf!
StreetCreditReport.com – None. I even tried to look up the worst World War I films, and the one that was put above In Love and War is this guy, which is so small it has less than one thousand votes on IMDb and doesn’t even seem that bad. Given its Rotten Tomatoes rating and the fact that Leonard Maltin gave it a BOMB, it is impressive how under the radar the film is.
Bring a Friend Analysis – This week we watched the Lifetime Original film Liz and Dick. Staring Lindsay Lohan and … some guy, and Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, the film was … a Lifetime Original. As a matter of fact, it seems like it was better than I would have expected from such a film. Lohan is okay, and it is a bit surprising she doesn’t get any work acting anymore, she’s fine for roles like this honestly (which probably means she’s still a pain to deal with). The story is interesting, although the film itself felt like it was four hours long, which is a major downside. I’m going to give this a D+ as a friend. It needs to be done because of Lohan, but it is so unrepresentative of what I want in a Lifetime Original (drama up the wazoo), that I have to punish it severely. It is kind of just a special case which after you watch it you’ll think “yup … that was Lindsay Lohan in a Lifetime Original film … cool.” Not worth it.