>> Feast of Love (Brandon’s Review, 3.5/10)

Feast of Love PosterWhoever edited the trailer for this film should be awarded a gold medal and then shot on sight. “Feast of Love” is a classic example of a pretty despicable practice known as the bait and switch. The trailer looks like it is going to be a lighthearted romantic comedy with maybe a smattering of heartbreak visited upon Greg Kinnear’s easy to love but hard to stay with and faithful to Bradley. You’d also get Morgan Freeman as Harry, the wise (possibly magical) professor with a couple of tragic secrets who is nevertheless so in tune with those around him and so understanding of the complexities of love that he may as well be playing God once again. Perhaps a better descriptor would be that he is a one man Greek chorus. He does, after all, tell us why the Gods invented love then laughter and on and on and on. You also get Chloe, the girl who needs a job (Alexa Davalos) who falls head over heels in love with the boy who mans the counter at a coffee shop called Jitters. You also get the philanderers (Billy Burke and Radha Mitchell). At this point I’m still on board but then things start to get really vile, ugly and cynical. “Feast of Love” feels like, of all things, “How to Deal” with breasts and bad words.

“Feast of Love” isn’t really a celebration of love so much as a relentlessly grim portrait of its vacancy. The house next door to Harry chews up and spits out every couple to ever come in contact with it, women leave men always and fathers don’t know their own sons. Sex is the compromise the film finds because there is so little love to be had. Passionate, loving sex becomes sex for money. Knife wielding father in laws (Fred Ward) disembowel your groceries because they think you’ll ruin their son’s life by virtue of your gender before they have the chance to do it good and proper, an unfaithful husband who lectures his bedfellow on decency before the “c” word makes a guest appearance along with his hand across her face.

Most of the performances in the film are pretty good, mainly because no one in the cast appears to be capable of performing poorly but at times everyone seems dispirited except for possibly Alexa Davalos and Jane Alexander who give their moments a welcome sense of warmth. I’m not saying that characters in the film don’t have a reason to be dispirited but you can sense a little something extra as if everyone knows the script is a debacle and neither they or the audience can be convinced that any point in the story is reached by earning. I can see why they did the film anyway, director Robert Benton has had in his hands in a number of great films as a screenwriter for “Bonnie and Clyde” and “Kramer Versus Kramer” and a director of some small gems (“Nobody’s Fool” and “The Human Stain”) so if you can trust anyone to turn this project around it would be him. He fails, but he failed with a good cast which sadly is not nearly enough of a consolation prize in this case.

“Feast of Love” has the feeling like Michael Cunningham’s “A Home at the End of The World” that it is nothing more than a collection of scenes from a book you read once brought to life in a way that is beyond underwhelming. Whatever insights you get into character, whatever attachments you have to places and people based on all that is conveyed on the page vanishes into the ether. I can’t imagine that the book is any good but I can’t believe it resembles the trainwreck it does here.

Thank God for boobs though because if any movie could use them it’s this one.

3.5 on a scale of 1 to 10

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1 Comment

  1. i’ll always be baffeled as to what exactly in the trailer for this movie looked good. my gut reaction to it the first time i saw it was something just short of total repulsion. but then the title flashed on screen and the reaction became complete repulsion. feast of love? makes me wanna vomit just thinking of the garbage that awaits in the movie. luckily cathy spared me on this movie because it feels like it has “leave before the movie ends” written all over it.


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