A Little Romance (1979)

I have not seen the whole movie. I have watched trailers, and I watched bits of it on an online site where the sound didn’t work but there were unsynchronized captions. So I basically know the story, have seen the climax and ending and other bits.

Until I read a description and parsed that the kids in it were 13, I thought they were older teens. I took Diane Lane to be about 16, as Lauren. Thelonious Bernard looks like he could be younger, as Daniel, but I still wouldn’t have placed him at 13.

I might have seen this, or part of it, sometime in the past. It seemed a bit familiar.

It follows some of the same kinds of hijinks in a Melody or a Moonrise Kingdom. It’s not that they want to get married Right Now, near as I could discern, but they want and expect to be in love forever. They run off from France to Venice to kiss under the Bridge of Sighs. Legend says this will make your love last forever. She is American, but has been living in France for three years while her mother works on some film production. Suddenly it’s over and there’s a wrap party and a forthcoming move to Houston. The post-film would be a pen pals phase and whether they see each other again is left to your imagination.

Unlike the younger kids in the other films, they look like it’d be perfectly reasonable for them to have a physical relationship that goes beyond lots of kissing. Unless I missed that part, they don’t. There’s a funny part where a friend gets them into the projection booth of a pornographic theater, after they get kicked out of a regular theater for being unable to prove she’s old enough to see the film. She looks, covers her eyes in disgust, looks again, then leaves and he goes after her when he sees she’s missing. He wisely observes that what’s in that film is something fake, not love.

I don’t have a strong enough urge to see the whole thing to sit through the bad online version or buy a physical copy for a lot of money and/or used. I may be thinking of a different movie, but one of the ones I looked into in the past day or so would have been $30.

Anyway, Diane Lane was beautiful in this, her first film, and reminded me of Jodie Foster. She had acted since she was little, so was not new to acting. It was just her first film (or TV) role and as such is the first thing listed in IMDB. That means she was more experienced with acting than Tracy Hyde, who was also not absolutely inexperienced in the sense she’d been a model and stage trained. She had some acting knowledge, knew how to take direction, and how to present herself. Thus she came across seasoned in Melody.

It might be interesting to see it all if I ever get the chance, but I got enough of a taste for comparison.

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