Addicted To Love

"Movie Magazine International" Review

(Air Date: Week Of 5/97)

By Monica Sullivan

Sam (Matthew Broderick) thinks he's addicted to Linda (Kelly Preston) and vice versa. But Linda thinks she's addicted to Anton (Tcheky Karyo) and vice versa. Maggie (Meg Ryan) thinks she's addicted to Anton and she KNOWS it ain't vice versa. Since Ryan and Broderick are the stars as the two ditched and jealous lovers, how do you think they're going to sort it all out? Well, now that's out of the way, let's take a look at one or two variations on the theme. For my part, I feel as sorry for Anton as I do for Wile E. Coyote. Sure, he's stuck-up and full of himself, but terrible things happen to him both because of his pride and because Maggie won't let anything great happen to him for most of the movie.

One of the weirdest sequences in the movie occurs when a famous food critic (director Griffin Dunne's father, Dominick) walks into the bistro where Anton is chef. Sam, working undercover as a dishwasher, calls Maggie, she dashes over with a package of cockroaches who promptly run wild, and the 4-star restaurant is out of business faster than you can say Board of Health. Dunne said he made his father put a cockroach-ridden fork in his mouth TEN TIMES! Meanwhile, Dunne says the 1982 murder of his sister Dominique never affects his work, but think about it. This is a film about unchecked obsession, which also killed his sister, then 23. Dominique was harassed, stalked and strangled by a Ma Maison chef who served just four years for the crime. In "Addicted To Love", the chef is harassed, stalked and nearly killed by Sam and Maggie.

There are some unmistakably dark subterranean currents in Griffin Dunne's feature film debut, however he masks them with an "old-fashioned and corny" (his words) ambiance, so that everyone gets a happy ending, whether s/he deserves it or not. We aren't meant to think too much about why the characters behave as they do because we're supposed to like, trust and possibly identify with them. After all, Ryan and Broderick are cute. Sure what they're doing is duplicitous, illegal and just plain mean, but they don't really know their own minds, so that's alright. And Anton and Linda don't mean to hurt anyone either, they simply can't help themselves. Comprende? Nothing is ever anyone's fault. I guess that's what "Addicted to Love" means.

Copyright 1997 Monica Sullivan

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