Mad Love

on May 26, 1995 by Kim Williamson
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   A story of young lovers (Chris O'Donnell and Drew Barrymore) on the road that takes a markedly dramatic turn, "Mad Love" is the studio debut of director Antonia Bird--who earlier this year gave us the superb "Priest." Not surprisingly, in her hands this Touchstone production aims for far more than fast cars and hot love, blending into the genre's mix a psychological complexity via Barrymore's character, whose suffering from mental illness demands something deeper than easy romance from O'Donnell's Matt. Fortunately, both actors--who also share the screen in "Batman Forever"--are up to the challenge.
   Unfortunately, somewhere between script and screen, other elements were not. Among the key problems is Matt's motivation; a good student who prizes taking care of his younger siblings, Matt does not have a core problem that his escapade could promise to solve. Because of this, the film's resolution holds insufficient importance for the audience. We're left on the road with no map to guide us home.    Starring Chris O'Donnell and Drew Barrymore. Directed by Antonia Bird. Written by Paula Milne. Produced by David Manson. A Buena Vista release. Drama. Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and issues of an emotionally disturbed teen, including risk-taking situations and sexuality. Running time: 96 min.
Tags: Chris O'Donnell, Drew Barrymore, Antonia Bird, psychological, romance
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