In Love And War

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -1

Ernest Hemingway's highly acclaimed novel, Farewell To Arms, was supposedly based on this real-life romance with a Red Cross nurse, Agnes von Kurowsky (Sandra Bullock) in World War I. Chris O'Donnell plays 18-year-old Hemingway, who falls for 26-year-old Agnes. He comes to Italy hoping to take part in the war effort as a Red Cross volunteer and reporter. Cocky, self-assured and bursting with energy, he worms his way into the trenches. An enemy attack, a brave effort to carry a wounded soldier, and a devastating leg wound bring him under the care of lovely Agnes. During his long recuperation his desire to be a war hero fades and he turns into a spoiled brat determined to win Agnes' heart. At first she just teases Ernie, calling him The Kid. After all, nearly all of her patients think they love the young pretty nurse who takes such good care of them. Gradually, she realizes her feelings for Ernie are more than maternal. This dull true story adapted from the nurse's diary, made a better novel. Bullock's character isn't very interesting and their romantic relationship lacks color.

While an Army hospital in a war zone can be expected to be filled with the wounded, an excessive amount of closeups of horribly disfigured soldiers are shown. One man can no longer bear his pain, so he slashes his wrists. On the battlefield images of the dead and dying are not as frequent, but are equally difficult to look at. Those scenes, plus one love scene between Agnes and Hemingway, give the film its PG-13 rating. The two meet in the town's only hotel, a dirty brothel, the night before Hemingway leaves for home. After some passionate kissing, they are shown dancing with their nude bodies silhouetted very briefly. Hemingway and his friends get drunk one night and talk about the nurses giving them baths. Some crude expressions and a few profanities are spoken, but IN LOVE AND WAR is fairly free of offensive material. A little less blood and omission of the unnecessary bedroom scene would have earned it our recommendation.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
New Line Cinema, 575 8th Ave., 16th Flr., NY, NY 10018

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 (6) times - Mild 3, Moderate 3

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: Few (4) times - Regular 2 (J 1, God's sake 1), Exclamatory 2

Violence: Few times - Severe (battle scenes of dying and wounded soldiers; man slashes wrists)

Sex: Implied once (unmarried couple dance nude in the dark)

Nudity: Once (silhouetted nude figures in dark room)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (passionate kissing, injured soldiers make suggestive comments about nurses bathing them)

Drugs: Patients get drunk in hospital

Other: Many bloody wounds and medical procedures shown in detail

Running Time: 115 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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