(Originally posted on Digby’s Hullabaloo on July 18, 2020)
A Little Romance – Warner Archives
This 1979 comedy-drama from George Roy Hill (with a screenplay adapted from a Patrick Cauvin novel by Allan Burns) is a genuine charmer.
A 13-year-old movie-obsessed French boy with an above-average IQ (Thelonious Bernard) Meets Cute with a 13-year-old American girl with an above-average IQ (Diane Lane) on a movie set in Paris. They encounter a grandfatherly rapscallion (a hammy Laurence Olivier) who convinces them that the only way to affirm their love is to kiss under the Bridge of Sighs at sunset. The trio hit the road to Venice-with authorities in pursuit (alerted by the kids’ concerned parents).
The director throws in some winks at the audience; e.g. in the opening scene, Bernard is watching an American western dubbed in French. The film is Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. In a later scene, he and Lane happen into a theater showing The Sting (both of those films were directed by Hill!). Also, in the opening scene Bernard snatches the poster for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and gets chased down the street by the theater manager…an homage to the opening scene in Francois Truffaut’s The 400 Blows.
Warner Archives’ Blu-ray is bare bones (only one extra feature, “Remembering Romance with Diane Lane”) but the transfer looks to have been taken from the best elements available (if not actually “restored”). The audio is presented in the original 2.0 mono, but with DTS-HD Master Audio enhancement.