Thing Called Love, The

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -1 1/2

Nashville, Tennessee, draws many young musicians hoping to make it big in the recording business. New Yorker Miranda Presley (Samantha Mathis), songwriter and singer, steps off a Greyhound bus into the heart of country music full of hope and confidence. The Bluebird Cafe auditions newcomers every Wednesday afternoon, and whoever owner Lucy picks gets to entertain her customers the following Saturday night. Right away Miranda meets James Wright (River Phoenix), a self-confident, moody singer well known at the Bluebird. His friend Kyle (Dermot Mulrooney), a shy but talented writer, falls for Miranda, who has a crush on James. Good natured, funny Lynda Lou (Sandra Bullock) has no talent but a heart of gold, and she and Miranda quickly become good friends. Some wonderful songs, including Elvis' "I Can't Help Falling in Love with You," will delight country and western music fans. Too bad the predictable story drags on and on, just like the Energizer battery.

Also predictable is the premarital sex between almost strangers. Miranda and James are shown in bed together on their second date. When they go to visit Graceland in Memphis, a clerk in an all night convenience store insists they get married there, alongside the pork and beans. The starry-eyed lovers agree that would be a perfect wedding. Kyle and James get into a pretty heavy fist fight in one scene, but without any serious injuries. Kyle tries to impress Miranda by trying to jump on a moving train and falls. Another time he is thrown off a bucking horse. When Miranda and Kyle break into a famous star's car to leave a tape of Kyle's song, the security guard catches them. The star is so impressed with the tape, she refuses to press charges. Beer drinking among the patrons of the cafe, plus some drunkenness are shown, and obscenities, crudities and profanities are heard numerous times. While the lonely musicians become almost family as they encourage each other, THING CALLED LOVE paints a shallow, depressing picture of love.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Paramount Communications Inc., 15 Columbia Circle, NY, NY 10023

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (8) times - Mild 7; Moderate 1

Obscene Language: Several (8) times (s-word 2; f-word 1; other 5)

Profanity: Few (3) times - Regular 1; Exclamatory 2

Violence: Few times - Moderate (fist fight; fall from train; boy thrown from horse)

Sex: Twice (implied once as scene fades out; unmarried couple in bed with side breast nudity)

Nudity: Brief breast nudity once

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Several times (beer drinking; drunkenness once)

Other: No negative consequences for breaking in car

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