★★★★ | The Face of Love
You glance at the cast list and think that at last, Hollywood is acknowledging good actors who happen to be a little older than Channing Tatum. The 3 leads here are Annette Bening, Ed Harris and the late Robin Williams in a slightly left of centre love story.
It goes like this, Annette Bening plays Nikki, an LA housewife and mother, who loves her husband, architect Ed Harris. The first part of the film shows this love while it films them on vacation for their 30th anniversary in Mexico until tragedy strikes.
Widowed, Nikki does what you imagine anyone in that position does, they exist, get up, breathe, eat, sleep and try to form some kind of life without that special someone but without any meaning and this film shows that lack of purpose so well.
That is until, on a whim, she drops by her favourite art gallery in LA, an old haunt from her pre-widow days and she spots a doppleganger; the spitting image of her late husband and that’s where the film goes into uncharted territory.
I’ve read some online reviews of this movie and they aren’t kind, but I found it endearing and felt an empathy with Nikki and her web of lies as she’s negotiating a relationship with someone who looks like and to all intents and purposes is her late husband; but with a penchant for hats and less fake teeth (watch, you’ll understand)!
Robin plays the third wheel – a neighbour, who lost his wife and has a crush painful on Nikki – a crush that comes to the surface when he makes a move and is, politely, thwarted due to Nikki’s sudden involvement with her late husband’s double!
Her live away daughter’s reaction is a treat when she first, accidentally, meets her mother’s new lover – worth watching just for this.
This is a lovely, delicious, silly and far-fetched movie – a Saturday afternoon treat, make yourself some popcorn, pour a wine and indulge kind of thing.
Suspend disbelief as someone once said and enjoy.