Love Letters

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Anna is a young woman who discovers her mother had an affair with a married man for 15 years, so she starts her own affair with a married man. She works for a Los Angeles public radio …

Sometimes It’s Right To Do the Wrong Thing.

ACTORS :  Jamie Lee Curtis, Bonnie Bartlett, Matt Clark

YEAR OF RELEASE :  1983

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Storyline

Love Letters  Anna is a young woman who discovers her mother had an affair with a married man for 15 years, so she starts her own affair with a married man. She works for a Los Angeles public radio station. She often must care for her alcoholic father and comply with his many demands. When she finds love letters, revealing her mother’s longtime involvement with someone else, she develops a romantic notion of the idea as something suitable for herself. She meets a photographer, Oliver, who is happily married and a father. Their physical attraction is immediate and they begin a torrid affair, but he cautions her from the start that he has no intention of leaving his family. She has no objection, enjoying the sex and intimacy for the time being, until feelings develop and she begins to desire a permanent relationship, intruding on his privacy in the process, with unhappy consequences for all. In the end she finally meets the man her mother had an affair with and she decides to take a job offer at a

Underrated sleeper still works

Love Letters  This damn film still makes me cry.

There are elements of it that seem schmaltzy and trite at times, but the overall power of the story never lets up. Curtis has probably what are her finest moments in this tiny, almost never-seen film debut from Amy Jones (who did “Slumber Party Massacre” the year before to get the cash to make this Labor Of).

It’s probably the most honest and gut-wrenching depiction of obsessional love I’ve seen, or maybe it’s just obsession. Whatever it is, it’s lacerating and not to be missed. There are times when, watching Curtis’ performance, it’s hard for your body not to ache at the anguish she seems to be feeling.

Back to Jones’ script for a second… it’s full of dark, moody moments that in another film would be over-the-top and pretentious, yet work beautifully here. The photographic portrait session comes immediately to mind…an awesome scene and the two actors playing it are never shown once. The whole affair is filled with little one-offs like this, all of which are presented with a late-autumn chill.

Add to the mix Amy Madigan and Bud Cort’s usually fine work (and don’t forget the underrated James Keach, whose seemingly at-first overly clinical readings are awkward, then completely fit the character once he’s fleshed out). Oh yeah, and Ralph Jones’ score is one of the most haunting and beautiful I’ve ever heard.

Gets me every time.

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