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Dir. Norman Rene
Rom-com sweetheart Meg Ryan (Serious Moonlight [TFF '09], You've Got Mail, When Harry Met Sally) is in her element as Rita Boyle. Quirky and free-spirited, Rita was born to a wealthy family, only to join the Socialist party (unbeknownst to her parents). Despite her beauty, youth, and health, Rita holds a very pessimistic view of the world. Alec Baldwin (30 Rock, My Sister's Keeper, The Good Shepherd, Running With Scissors) is Peter Hoskins, a slightly-timid-yet-charming man who quickly falls for Rita despite her strange ideas about the world. The couple forms an endearing pair, and it all plays out very nicely, very by-the-book romantic comedy.
That is of course, until their wedding day, when an eccentric, elderly man named Julius (played by Sydney Walker) crashes the wedding and requests a kiss from the bride before he continues on his way. Seeing some kind of spark within the old man, Rita agrees. In that moment, the spirits of Rita and Julius switch places, leaving Peter with an old man in the body of his young wife, and Rita displaced into Julius’s quickly disintegrating body. When the honeymoon is anything but, Peter’s suspicions are aroused. Now he must find his true Rita, and determine whether the relationship can last if they are unable to make the switch back.
Based on an original stage play by Craig Lucas (the Broadway production starred Mary-Louise Parker, Timothy Hutton, and Barnard Hughes), Prelude is an enjoyable fairytale-esque picture that takes a light-hearted look at the individual meaning of life. Ryan and Baldwin find a delightful chemistry, and Walker (a stage actor who landed his first lead role at age 71) plays a woman in her 20’s surprisingly well.
Our triumvirate are supported by an excellent cast, including Kathy Bates (Cheri, Revolutionary Road, Titantic, Misery) and Stanley Tucci (Julie & Julia, What Just Happened, The Devil Wears Prada), a pair who are always quick with a sarcastic quip or two.
Grab your honey—old or young—and settle in for a romantic treat this summer's weekend.
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