Hotel de Love

"Movie Magazine International" Review

(Air Date: Week Of 2/5/97)

By Andrea Chase

The new Australian comedy, "Hotel de Love", proves yet again that, in the movies at least, the course of true love never does run smooth. In point of fact, it has an alarming tendency to run amok, dragging it's hapless victims along for the ride.

The title character is a neon bright, slightly surrealistic, wedding and honeymoon hotel given over wholeheartedly to the tender passions. It boasts a the heart-shaped reception desk and theme rooms ranging from the Garden of Eden (complete with phosphorescent apples) to a Rugby Stadium.

The plot is deceptively simple. Rick and Stephen are fraternal twins both in love with the same woman. The fact that one of them has never so much as kissed her and neither of them have clapped eyes on her in 10 years matters not a whit. While they're at the hotel to witness their parents renew their wedding vows, Melissa, for whom the brothers have pined so long, suddenly drops back into their lives with (what else?) a man on her arm who's about to propose. What's more, she's going to accept. Complications follow in close order, sweeping innocent bystanders into the heady maelstrom: These include their mother, who has a black belt in kvetching; their father, who is resigned to a prolonged and painful death thereby; Allison, the fortune-teller who dreams of sunny Barcelona and who may or may not be in love with one or maybe both of the brothers; and Norman, a three time loser who demonstrates his affection by NOT groping it's object.

Writer/director Craig Rosenberg fleshes out characters that could have easily slipped into hackneyed stereotypes, and inspires performances from his ensemble cast that are spot on target. They sort through illusions, mis-timings and heartbreaks as they bravely forge on to their happy endings. Most of them, anyway. It's sly, funny, full of heart and gosh-darn cute. It also offers up a surprise or two as it's meditating of the mysteries of amour.

I gained a whole new appreciation from this film for the power of hormones. If they didn't push so hard, why would any of us put ourselves through all this nonsense?

Copyright 1997 Andrea Chase

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