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Addicted to Love (1997)
Rated R

Starring: Matthew Broderick, Meg Ryan, Tchéky Karyo, and Kelly Preston

Rating:
***
out of
*****

Romantic comedies are pretty much a dime a dozen. They're usually quite predictable and too cute for their own good. Addicted to Love falls mostly into that same mold but, somehow, it remains quite watchable.

Matthew Broderick plays Sam, an astronomer, who's in love with Linda (Kelly Preston), a grade-school teacher. When Linda announces that she's going to accept a temporary teaching job in New York City, Sam is heartbroken but anxiously awaits her return. On the day she is to arrive home, Sam receives a "Dear John" letter, delivered by her father.

Sam decides he will travel to New York and win her back. Upon arriving at her apartment, he finds that she's living with a man named Anton (Tchéky Karyo). For some strange reason, Sam decides to watch the new couple from an abandoned building across the street and wait for the right time to win Linda back.

As he watches, a mysterious motorcyclist appears and takes up residence in Sam's building. The motorcyclist turns out to be Maggie (Meg Ryan), Anton's ex-fiance. She, too, wants to watch the new couple but she doesn't want Anton back. Rather, she wants to get even with him for using her. Together, Sam and Maggie plan several lame-brained schemes to break the couple up.

As movies go, Addicted to Love is incredibly predictable in terms of what happens with the characters. Even simply watching the trailers for this movie allows one to figure out the plot and resolution. But the fun of Addicted to Love is getting through the plot and to the resolution.

Although Meg Ryan and Matthew Broderick are fun to watch, the real nod of approval goes to Tchéky Karyo for his portrayal of Anton. He steals the movie by showing a great range of acting ability with a limited amount of screen time. Broderick's Sam and Ryan's Maggie look like cartoon characters compared to Karyo's Anton.

The direction by Griffin Dunne, who's more recognized for his acting than his directing, is very good. He gives the film a stylish look which simultaneously resembles old American love stories and contemporary European films at the same time.

If the story wasn't so predictable, this would have ranked much higher. However, with the current glut of slam-bang action movies and mindless gimmicky comedies, you might want to try Addicted to Love anyway. It's got just enough spunk to make it worth a look.

Trivia: Matheson, the restaurant reviewer, is played by Griffin Dunne's father, Dominick Dunne (Source: The Internet Movie Database)

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