Talk to Me

Starring Morgan Freeman, Jane Alexander and Greg Kinnear. Directed by Robert Benton
Running Time: 101 mins
Rated: Rated MA 15+ (strong coarse language and sex scenes)

Feast of Love could pass for a very old-fashioned kind of serious romantic comedy were it not for the frequent sex scenes which might surprise an older audience attracted by the plot and by Morgan Freeman.

This is a small town story with Morgan Freeman as Harry, a retired University professor still grieving at the unanticipated death of his doctor son from a drug overdose. Jane Alexander is his strong and supportive wife. The screenplay provides for a voiceover narrator and Freeman's resonant voice and delivery are a pleasure to listen to (whether it be for The Shawshank Redemption or The March of the Penguins).

Harry spends a great deal of his spare time at a coffee shop owned by Greg Kinnear as Bradley, an amiable man who does not recognise the deeper feelings of people, and suffers the loss of his wife (Selma Blair) to a lesbian athlete, who marries an attractive estate agent (Radha Mitchell) who admires him but does not love him. Harry is a good supportive friend though he does not make decisions for people. Rather, he tries to enable them to make decisions themselves. This is especially true of the young man who works at the coffee shop and the young woman (Alexa Davalos is particularly glowing) who applies for a job - the two falling in love.

There is plenty of talk about love - and we see much of the sexual side of it. We also see sex without love, so that we are continually wondering what love is and making comparisons between the various couples: the elderly devoted couple, the youngsters who are in love and committed, the middle aged adults who are confused and move in and out of relationships.

The title rather inflates the plot and the relationships. Not a feast, not a famine, but somewhere rather ordinary in between.

Village Roadshow Out February 28

Fr Peter Malone MSC directs the film desk of SIGNIS: the World Association of Catholic Communicators, and is an associate of the Australian Catholic Office for Film & Broadcasting.