Friday July 12, 1996
"Lover's Knot" is so marginal that its theatrical release is sheerest folly. It has nothing very new to say about contemporary romance, yet is in danger of talking your ears off. The video bin is surely its imminent destiny.
Bill Campbell stars as an English lit lecturer who has trouble squaring away his passion for love poetry with the everyday reality of sustaining a relationship with pediatrician Jennifer Grey. Instead of developing this idea more fully, writer-director Pete Shaner lays on the asides. Campbell and Grey themselves address the audience, as do William Shakespeare, Andrew Marvell, Cupid's minion Tim Curry--a terrific presence wasted in a totally extraneous role--and virtually everyone else within camera range.
Just as Campbell and Grey quite capably start working up a scene, with the film threatening to come alive and actually to engage us, Shaner cuts away to his beloved asides, a quickly tiresome, overly theatrical device. By the time the film is over, you're left with the feeling that more screen time was given over to less-than-inspired commentary upon the story than to the telling of the story itself.
Shaner is a better director than writer and, if nothing else, "Lover's Knot" is a good showcase for Campbell, who has a lanky James Stewart charm. Grey is also effective, but it's hard to understand why her pediatrician, having survived the demands of medical school, has so little sympathy for Campbell going through the time-consuming ordeal of finishing his doctoral dissertation.
Adam Baldwin is amusingly glib as a plastic surgeon who is Grey's not-quite-ex-boyfriend. Lots of familiar faces pop up briefly: Adam Ant, Joyce Brothers, Anne Francis, Harold Gould, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Zelda Rubinstein among them. There are lots worse movies than "Lover's Knot," but all the same it's a time-waster.
Lover's Knot, 1996. R for sexuality. A Two Pauls Entertainment presentation. Writer-director Pete Shaner. Producers Paul Rauch, Paul A. Kaufman, Executive producer Randy Simon. Cinematographer Garret Griffin. Editor Tatiana S. Riegel. Music Laura Karpman. Production designer David Huang. Running time: 1 hour, 20 minutes. Bill Campbell as Steve Hunter. Jennifer Grey as Megan Forrester. Tim Curry as Cupid Caseworker. Adam Baldwin as John Reed.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times