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  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer ( )
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
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    Mad Love

    Buena Vista/Buena Vista . R4 . COLOR . 92 mins . M15+ . PAL


    Drew Barrymore and Chris O’Donnell have about as much spark between them as two chunks of timber. That’s not to say they don’t do their best; Drew in particular stands out in her wild girl rebellion role (that she’s so personally familiar with). The script is where this effort falls over in this pedestrian 1995 road trip.

    Matt is a nice boy, getting good grades and dressing like Pearl Jam. When spunky Casey moves in across the lake, he spies on her, as all nice boys do. They soon form a friendship and then a relationship, before Casey’s quirky nature begins to cause some concern. Her parents, in an act of love, get her strapped down in a psychiatric hospital because she tried to kill herself, apparently. This doesn’t sit right with Matt, who is besotted with Drew’s magnanimous beauty (he’s only human, after all), and he busts her out of the hospital before they take to the road Ali McGraw/Steve McQueen style.

    Once on the road, they decide to head south as their families attempt to find them. However, they soon encounter troubles as Casey’s drug-free illness begins to consume her. Matt, now torn between wishing to help Casey and wishing to keep her free of her parents, begins to suffer his own inner demons of choice which leads to the ultimate, final confrontation. Or something.

    Drew plays the wild child in exemplary fashion here, though at the time I believe she was coming out of that sort of lifestyle of her own. She also gets into her role of clinically depressed Casey, though the scripting of this illness isn’t covered as well as it may have been, deciding to choose clichés over originality. While the film isn’t so bad as a teeny flick, the abject lack of chemistry between the two leads does little to help, creatingan overall lacklustre film of a most ordinary nature.


    Well, made in 1995 and transferred by Buena Vista, the film does look pretty good here. There are no real artefacts to speak of and the ones that do turn up aren’t really disruptive. Colours are good and even with decent fleshtones as well (apart from pale blue skin beneath Drew’s razor-thin eyebrows perhaps). Shadow detail is good in the night scenes, with very little by way of grain, while blacks are true overall. The cinema aspect ratio of 1.85:1 has been maintained here with a nice anamorphocity included for widescreen tellies.


    The standard Buena Vista Dolby Digital 5.1 surround deal brings us the sounds here and this is an entirely adequate presentation. The surrounds do little else but carry the music however, with only moderate support from the subwoofer. Sound effects are okay, although some dialogue has obviously been edited to lessen the swears. Nothing can change the mismatching of voice to mouth movement, however. I don’t know if that’s just an animator thing to notice, but I would imagine anyone can tell if something doesn’t synch up. We listen to people speak with correct mouth movement all day every day, so it should be more than apparent to all.

    The music is a festival of radio alternative tracks from 1995. While the film attempts to be cashing in on the Seattle scene, it is doing this about five years too late and the music is even mildly dated for 1995. The score from Andy Roberts is also dated and annoying and of the glam rock radio style (shit, in other words). There are some tracks used from decent bands, but these are too fleeting for the credit they get in the end titles. Nirvana, Luscious Jackson, Cracker, Elastica and, inexplicably, Kirsty McColl (R.I.P.) doing a Billy Bragg song. Instant credibility could have been granted if B.B. had done the song, but instead it gives away to whom the film is aimed at. There’s also a live performance from a band called 7 Year Bitch whose music is as trite as the band name.


    Straight-jacketed and locked away forever in a mouldering padded cell where no one shall ever see them again.


    Dreary and flavourless, the only good point about this film is the delightful Drew Barrymore and even she isn’t enough to carry this mediocre script and the mediocre talents of her co-stars. The written portrayal of clinical depression is amateurish and stilted, with no progressive flow of the illness as the film sluggishly creeps toward the end. And being the central focus of the characters, this inattention to detail is film suicide.

    Not worth it folks, even if you’re a Drew fan. She’s done better stuff since and this one plays out like an after-school special.

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      And I quote...
    "Even if you’re a Drew fan, she’s done better stuff since and this one plays out like an amateur after-school special."
    - Jules Faber
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Teac DVD-990
    • TV:
          AKAI CT-T29S32S 68cm
    • Speakers:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Centre Speaker:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Surrounds:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Subwoofer:
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
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