In Love and War

Bomb Rating: 

Director Richard Attenborough treats us to "English Patient Lite." It has half the calories of the regular "English Patient" -- and is even less nourishing.

What an amazing movie:

A young Ernest Hemingway (Chris O'Donnell) goes off to Italy during World War I to discover what war is like on the front lines. Since he can't go as a soldier, he joins the Red Cross and jumps right into the first trench he sees. Then he's shot trying to rescue a soldier. When he wakes up, he finds himself in the only topless nursing hospital in Italy -- and there's Agnes Von Kurowsky (Sandra Bullock) tending to his gangrenous leg.

Too bad that wasn't this movie. Take out the topless part and nothing seems very interesting does it? Director Richard Attenborough treats us to "English Patient Lite." It has half the calories of the regular "English Patient" -- and is even less nourishing. Perhaps I should just refer to this film as "The American Patient" to acknowledge its big-name stars who bring not an ounce of sincerity to their roles. Watch Chris O'Donnell smirk. Watch Sandra Bullock preen. I half expected the climax to feature an exploding bus and a Batman suit.

To make matters worse, this turns out to be yet another stupid history movie, which means that unless a ghost writer penned "A Farewell to Arms," there isn't a whole lot of suspense concerning Hemingway's impending health (though given his wound, someone should have at least explained why it wasn't called "A Farewell to Leg"). Secondly, we already know who won WWI. That being said, I couldn't help but hope that Austria would overrun those damn Italians since they were just going to turn around and try to screw us in WWII.

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