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Saturday, January 9, 2016

Impromptu (1991)

When the writer George Sand (Judy Davis) first hears the music of Chopin (Hugh Grant), she becomes determined to make him her next lover. To this end, she invites herself to a house party in the country being hosted by a somewhat pretentious Duchess (Emma Thompson). Unfortunately, others will be there including two of her ex-lovers (Mandy Patinkin, Georges Corraface) and Franz Liszt (Julian Sands) and his mistress (Bernadette Peters). This stylish comedy of manners from director James Lapine and writer Sarah Kernochan (it's an original screenplay) is right on the money during the country house party scenes but once that section is regretfully over, it not so much stumbles as lose steam and slowly chugs to the finish line. It's not a serious look at these legendary artists (though I'm not sure Kernochan thought so) but a rather entertaining romp with historical figures. The film offers its cast an opportunity to dress up and play act and while it never quite manages to be as good as its beginning promises, I liked it quite a lot. With Anna Massey, Anton Rodgers, Ralph Brown and Elizabeth Spriggs.  

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