True Love?
De-Lovely
Review by Ross Anthony

Mixed Feelings. This is an odd film that both allures and repels. Kevin Kline Plays songwriter Cole Porter. He's sharp, clever, talented, intelligent, life-loving and bi-sexual. Into his life walks, Linda (Ashley Judd) equally refined, matchingly charming and strong. With all the cards on the table, Linda and Cole wed despite the complication of Cole's male affairs. As Cole says (in this film) the relationship with Linda was all about intimacy, the sex was "take it or leave it." And as far as the film goes, it's all about intimacy too. Though it's a musical, the music is rather "take it or leave it." Unfortunately, while sweet to hear Kline and Judd sing, they won't make any charts. The best music moments go to Lemar, Elvis Costello and Vivian Green, despite more contemporary big name singers. A very well placed moment with Natalie Cole also plays well.

The story is told as a "directed" memory of a late-in-life Porter. He sits in an empty theater with an imagined director and together they put together a musical of his life. This makes for some warm-hearted reflection. Most of which seems to be analyzing the idea of true love. "Is that when you loved her?" the imagined director prods the aged Porter as they watched the production. "Is that true love -- just then?" While Porter smiles nostalgically at his past with Linda, remembering it all very fondly, he still can't quite chalk it up to true love. Such it seems (by the film) was Linda's frustration with the relationship she'd knowingly bonded. While allowing Porter his nightly affairs, Linda pushed him along his track to success. The film never really defines that push as selfless or selfish, undoubtedly a little of both.

Though many of the lines in the film are pretentiously clever, one sums it up well. Porter reflects, "She picked me up and restored me. And in return ... I gave her me. Hardly payment in kind."

Early on, the audio falls heavy on the bass end, making dialogue difficult to hear. Successfully intimate, underwhelming (for the most part) musically, at times as difficult as their relationship, the film also has a very sweet sense to it, a realness and a raw, yet subtle appreciation for life. I'm left with mixed feelings.


  • De-Lovely. Copyright © 2004. PG-13. 125 minutes.
  • Starring Kevin Kline, Ashley Judd, Jonathan Pryce, Kevin McNally, Sandra Nelson, Allan Corduner, Peter Polycarpou. Keith Allen (as Irving Berlin).
  • Directed by Irwin Winkler.
  • Screenplay by Jay Cocks.
  • Produced by Irwin Winkler, Rob Cowan, Charles Winkler at MGM/Winkler. (c) 2004.

Grade..........................B (2/4)


Copyright © 1998-2016 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Check out his other sites too: Author*Illustrator*Speaker, Motobookothon 2009, M9, Write Triangle, TwT. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.


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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:13:11 PDT