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Wick's Review

Created May 31, 2009 03:43PM PST • Edited Aug 19, 2022 09:09PM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Very Good 3.5

    Fifteen years after Sleepless in Seattle, Feast of Love offers Pairing in Portland, a cinematic soap opera full of smiles, bits of sadness and wisdom, and attractive couples in love. While lite, it is entertaining.

    Emotional Scores

    • You’ll laugh – 3.5 beams
    • You’ll cry – 3 beams
    • You’ll think – 4 beams.
    • Happy ending – 5 beams.
  3. Great 4.0

    Dream Cast —

    • Morgan Freeman & Jane Alexander: Wise elders gracefully recovering from a familial tragedy
    • Greg Kinnear: The best everyman in the movies as an unlucky-in-love artist-cum-coffee bar owner
    • Radha Mitchell & Billy Burke: An exceptionally good looking couple who can also act
    • Selma Blair & Stana Katic: While Blair’s not a favorite of mine, she’s more than a favorite of Katic’s aggressive lesbian, who reinforces the fact that shortstops often get the hottest girls
    • Alexa Davalos & Toby Hemingway: A tragically beautiful young couple, Davalos made this movie a year before jumping offscreen as Daniel Craig’s bride in Defiance, while Hemingway has marked himself as a pretty-boy actor who can actually act.
    • Fred Ward: The consummate earthy guy as a vile drunk who torments his son and daughter-in-law
  4. Male Stars Great 4.0
  5. Female Stars Really Great 4.5
  6. Female Costars Great 4.0
  7. Male Costars Great 4.0
  8. Very Good 3.5

    Great date movie. Sensitive, but “aye like it too,” and not just because of the bevy of beauties who enjoy languorous sex scenes with their lovers. No, because there’s a (lame) touch football game. Yeah that’s it, that’s why Irish Spring Man liked it. For the football.

    Mellow and melodramatic, though never mawkish, the movie conforms to the soap opera code whereby everyone is comfortable and tasteful, and commerce never intrudes (even in places of business). It does avoid the contrived scene-endings of TV soaps, where a heavy statement leads to a stare-off between the characters, and boom onto the next scene. Fortunately, director Robert Benton employs a much more natural style.

  9. Direction Great 4.0

    The legendary Robert Benton (Who’s old enough to remember Peyton Place?) has directed a newly classic cinematic soap opera that could just as well be called Portland Place. While the writer-director of Kramer vs. Kramer (also featuring Jane Alexander) must know that Feast of Love won’t loom large in his obituary, he can nonetheless be proud of this movie.

  10. Play Very Good 3.5

    “Easy, sleazy” and other well turned phrases.

  11. Music Good 3.0

    Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, a kind of secular hymn, makes its annual soundtrack appearance (it’s served as soulful backdrop in half a dozen movies over the past five years). Just as Aretha and Smokey channeled their youthful hymns into their hit music, so Cohen channels Hallel into his Jewish Soul Music.

  12. Visuals Really Great 4.5

    Portland Postcard: The movie shows Portland to be a damply verdant Eden.

  13. Content
  14. Risqué 2.0

    Most of the 2.0 Edginess score comes from the Sex. Hallelujah, as the song goes.

    A couple of deaths figure in the story, including parents recovering from the loss of a grown son.

  15. Sex Erotic 2.8

    Each true-love couple (other than the senior citizens) gets one lovingly shot sex scene. Lovely.

    The fact that their subsequent lovemaking is implied rather than shown marks the movie as sensitive rather than exploitative.

  16. Violence Gentle 1.5
  17. Rudeness Salty 1.6
  18. Glib 1.1

    Trendy with a lite touch: amateur porn to cute corner coffee bars play in the story.

    The reality of the movie is defined by the trappings and mores of the Progressive Province of Portland, as politically blue as any city in America. From the Volvos to the coffee bars, it’s clear why this is such a magnet for hip youngsters.

    The movie builds on this with a brief and unflattering allusion to Western religion late in the proceedings, well after the Greek mythological incantations, palm reading and tarot telling have been soberly portrayed.

  19. Circumstantial Glib 1.4
  20. Biological Natural 1.0
  21. Physical Natural 1.0


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