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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

In Love and War (1996)



Reviews and Comments

While this film makes for a fine wartime romance drama, basing the story on a young Ernest Hemingway's real life experience in World War I promises something greater. Hemingway's character was notoriously colorful, a proud, tormented, eccentric, drunken literary legend. How is this common knowledge reflected in the film? Can we glimpse the greatness that is to come in the Hemingway portrayed in this film? Sadly, the answer is no. At least not until the film's shining moment -- the last ten minutes, which singlehandedly raises In Love and War above other entries in the prolific romantic drama genre. Alas, while this is not too little, it is too late to make In Love and War the fine historic character piece it might have been. What's left is disappointing to high expectations (and often slow), yet nonetheless a reasonably entertaining, heartfelt story about two lives thrown together during terrible times and how they cope with their feelings under the trauma of war. If you see this film, it is particularly important to see it widescreen; the film's greatest asset is its stunningly gorgeous photography of the Italian countryside and its powerfully effective photography of the chaos of wartime medical facilities. Both will be hopelessly compromised by the pan-n-scan format.