Addicted To Love

on May 23, 1997 by Christine James
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Revenge is Sweet and Hell Hath No Fury Like a Woman Scorned are popular cinematic themes these days. (See "The First Wives Club" and "Waiting to Exhale" for other recent movies that would be apt to elicit an exuberant cry of "you go, girl!" from some of the more overenthusiastic audience members.) "Addicted to Love's" Maggie (Meg Ryan), the former fiancee of an exploitive, arrogant French waiter- turned-restaurateur named Anton ("La Femme Nikita's" Tcheky Karyo), adds another colorfully vengeful archetype to film's pantheon of jilted Jills. And Matthew Broderick plays simpy Sam, whose love of his life, Laura ("Jerry Maguire's" Kelly Preston), left him for Maggie's Anton. Sam, who's still heels over head for Laura despite her abrupt termination of their lifelong romance, takes a leave of absence from his job and moves into an abandoned condemned apartment next door to the paramours' residence in order to spy on them.
Being an astronomer, Sam is able to set up a makeshift camera obscura, which reflects and projects images, to aid him in his snooping. Meanwhile, on her quest to decimate her ex, the intimidatingly postured Maggie figures out what Sam is up to, moves into his spy hovel against his wishes and soon persuades him to join her in her devious plot to break up the happy couple. Some wacky schemes ensue to make it appear that Anton is having an affair, and Sam and Maggie begin to bond while reveling in the glee of their conspiracies. Eventually, though, they must come to terms with the fact that what they thought would make them happy doesn't seem to be doing so.
Ryan takes a refreshing 90-degree turn from her usual screen persona as the aggressive yet cool, eclectically garbed, tough-as- nails Maggie (though there's a sensitivity beneath), while Broderick's perennial puppy-dog appeal and subtle sardonic delivery fit him perfectly in the role of Sam. And Karyo as Anton delves with relish into his role as an egomaniacal dictator-type who, through ascendingly outrageous humiliations, is reduced to a painfully pathetic loser. Although ultimately predictable and in need of a wider array of inventive revenges, "Addicted to Love" is fun, spirited and frequently clever. Starring Matthew Broderick, Meg Ryan, Tcheky Karyo and Kelly Preston. Directed by Griffin Dunne. Written by Robert Gordon. Produced by Jeffrey Silver and Bobby Newmyer. A Warner Bros. release. Romantic comedy. Rated R for sexual content. Running time: 100 min
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