Starring: Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr, Richard Denning
Director: Leo McCarey
Running Time: 119 mins
An Affair To Remember is an American film about a man and woman who fall in love aboard a transatlantic cruise, and upon arriving at their destinations, agree to reunite six months later atop the Empire State Building once they’ve ended their current relationships.
As iconic as this film seems to be amongst the many classic romantic dramas, I have to say I just wasn’t feeling it. Despite starring two legends in Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant, the film is an exceedingly slow and uneventful watch whose story offers very little in the way of true emotional drama, and although it has a few bright moments, it’s a generally uninteresting and very unmemorable watch.
But before I get into that, there are some positives to look at. For one, the lead performances aren’t all that bad. Cary Grant is as cool and charismatic as ever – the perfect romantic lead – whilst Deborah Kerr works brilliantly with him, bringing a degree of emotional intrigue to the film’s story, although not quite enough to save the whole movie.
Also, the film has a couple of strong moments. Its finale is relatively entertaining, and the general bright and romantic feel of the movie makes it a lot more pleasant than it could have been.
However, that’s about it, because I really felt that there just wasn’t much to this movie to make it so memorable. Above all, the screenplay is very weak. Yes, the concept of the two having a passionate but forbidden holiday romance has good promise, as well as their frustrated separation as they return home to their original partners, but it doesn’t quite work out that way.
Why? Simply put, everything moves far too slowly. Now, this is of course not meant in any way to be a rapid-fire, intense romantic drama, but rather an elegant waltz-like story. However, the way the plot meanders around with very little direction, as well as the fact that the film’s first hour is half-empty, as is the second, makes for a very frustrating watch.
Having good actors and a good premise just isn’t enough to make a two-hour movie engrossing. I was on board briefly at the beginning, but upon noticing the fact that the first act takes so long to get going (if it does at all), I became more and more bored by this movie, never able to tap into the more romantic and passionate side of the story.
Overall, I was very disappointed by An Affair To Remember. Its legendary status gave me high hopes, and although the lead actors do a decent job, and the film looks and feels enough like a classic Hollywood romance, the film is on the whole very plain, empty and lacking in the pure emotion that I felt was necessary to make the story really tick, and that’s why I’m giving it a 6.6.