Title: Murphy’s Romance
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director: Martin Ritt
Harriet Frank Jr.
Music: Carole King
Cinematography: William A. Fraker
This little unobtrusive film made 27 years old is about a romantic love story between a divorced woman and an elderly widower, its western scenery might has already lost its vigor as time goes by and pretty much old-fashioned from our current maxim of aesthetics to define a must-see classic, it certainly has its appeal for a joyful evening viewing even just for some light entertainment with two beautifully all-over-the-place leading performances.
An older-man-with-younger-woman romantic is nothing new and still now it has been considered a preferential relationship mode for our society to endure the time erosion (MODERN FAMILY is the role model here), but its morally self-consciousness could endanger the audience’s acceptance and fortunately MURPHY’S ROMANCE has made itself a paradigmatic model against the 27-years age difference.
Two Hollywood old timers take on the leading roles, Sally Field, a two-times Oscar winner (for NORMA RAE 1979 and PLACES IN THE HEART 1985) in her heyday (who might not suffer from the same magnitude of deprecating panning like the limitedly-talented Hilary Swank), gives another passionate performance on which she tags a shade of sincere comedic flavor. James Garner, who has earned his first and only Oscar nomination so far, levels off as a constant warmth and charm generator, contrast to Brian Kerwin’s viciously good looking ex-husband, which occasions a feasible option for Field’s character and also minifies the happy-endings’ corny predictability. Also the gone-too-soon Carey Haim is a gem in the film, in a world copious of repellent children, he is so adorable and rare to be seen on the screen nowadays.