Director: Robert Benton
Stars: Morgan Freeman, Greg Kinnear, Selma Blair, Radha Mitchell, Billy Burke, Alexa Davalos, Toby Hemingway, Jane Alexander, Fred Ward
Feat of Love takes place over a period of eighteen months and follows the love lives of a number of different characters. It’s narrated by Morgan Freeman, who plays Harry, a professor who is taking an extended leave of absence. His friend Bradley (Kinnear) has a romantic notion of love but actually finding someone who shares his views prove to be elusive. Chloe (Davalos) and Oscar (Hemingway) are young lovers who fall in love at first sight, yet Chloe gets a grim warning from a psychic that suggests her happiness may not be a long-lasting thing.
One of my favourite types of movie are ones that thread ensemble casts into intertwining stories, so Feast of Love interested me quite a bit. Sometimes movies like these suffer from the fact that not all the stories are as interesting as the others, so there’s some dead time on screen. Feast of Love suffered from this, but it has a lot of problems as well.
Freeman plays a wizened professor with a tortured past. He was good in this role, but his character was also the narrator and he seemed to be privy to some information that would only be available to someone with an omniscient third-person viewpoint. That took me out of the movie a little bit but otherwise I liked his role and how he held the film together, especially his interactions with the young couple. Davalos and Hemingway had good chemistry but there wasn’t really anything new in their story. I think the most interesting was the triangle with Kinnear, Mitchell and Burke, wait actually, scratch that, the most interesting was Selma Blair’s character but she was shunted off screen about ten minutes into the film.
Kinnear seemed to be the character with the most focus but his character seemed to change dramatically. At first he was the inattentive husband who forced things on his wife because he thought it would be good for her, but he couldn’t even remember the colour of her eyes. But then later on he was presented as a tragic character who believed in true love but just got trashed by the women he was with. It was a wild shift in tone and I didn’t buy it. The end to his story felt forced and fake.
Feast of Love feels like it’s taking itself too seriously and believes that is it making deep and profound commentary on the nature on love when in fact it’s not. It seems to want to tie in mysticism at one point, with the visit to the psychic and a curse on a particular house, but these themes aren’t developed so there’s no grand point to the film. It basically boils down to the fact that people fall in love, sometimes with the wrong people, and sometimes bad things happen for no reason but it’s important to love passionately while we can. Wow, what a revelation. Never have I heard of that idea before!
There are also some laughable sex scenes that feel totally out of place because the rest of the film doesn’t have that edgy tone. It wants to be mature but it never really breaks out of its generic skin. It’s watchable, but it doesn’t offer anything new so I wouldn’t go out of my way to watch it.