1981 **** 117 mins.
On June 15, 2019 director Franco Zeffirelli died at the age of 96. In the days leading up to his death, I had taken an interest in seeing this film, which many critics claim to be one of his worst. The night I heard about his death, I ordered the DVD from Amazon and watched it the first chance I got. Then, I watched it again almost immediately. I honestly can not understand why a lot of critics are so hard on this film. It has great characters, all of whom are very likable (unless you're not supposed to), great music (including the immortal title song by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross), and it bears the undeniable visual style of Franco Zeffirelli. From the brilliant opening credit design, I was hooked. We're immediately thrust into the hot and heavy romance of 17-year-old David and 15-year-old Jade. Their relationship takes a traumatic twist halfway through the film, and the film goes from heartwarming to heartbreaking with a single bad decision. It's a superbly crafted film that takes the teen romance genre and spins it on its head. Brooke Shields is simply gorgeous and adorable in the film, Martin Hewitt gives our hero plenty of depth, heart, and empathy, and James Spader is his usual wonderfully frustrating self. The only things that bothered me about this film were little nit-picky things here and there that aren't even worth mentioning. It's a film that's meant to be watched with that special someone; if you watch it alone, you'll be left pining for the one you love, to hold him/her closer than ever.
Original theatrical aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Based on the Book by