4.5 - Melodrama at its absolute finest. McCarey manages to take an exaggerated genre (one of which I'm not often fond) and made it transcendental. Grant's and Kerr's repartee is absolutely lovely. In spite of their living in a still imperfect world, one can't help but feel that their being in it pushes the world around them toward the sublime.
Wasn't feeling the supposed chemistry between Kerr and Grant, which I suppose would have helped in enjoying the film, but the sugary sweetness so typical of romances still doesn't strike a chord in me. I'd rather watch Letter from an Unknown Woman again than any of this fluff. Sure, there were hints of elegance here and there, but mostly I just wanted to slap myself in the face every two minutes.
An Affair to Remember did next to nothing for me. Cary Grant was Cary Grant, nothing remarkable or disappointing, just like the allegedly landmark chemistry between himself and Deborah Kerr. The scene at grandma's was kind of grating but paled in comparison to that musical number with those goofy-looking kids. I love Grant, but this was overrated fluff with some nice shots of 50s-era New York. Bleh otherwise.
The chemistry between Grant and Kerr have led this film to be one of the most beloved romances of all time. For myself, that said chemistry doesn't compensate for the last half hour that steers into the world of syrupy treacle. The first 3/4 is quite romantic and wonderful but that ending.....bleeh. The real emotional scene would be the goodbyes to the grandmother which has such a knowing melancholy to it.
For Italian readers, my article on An Affair to Remember featured in the new La Furia Umana issue (n. 13) http://www.lafuriaumana.it/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=548:la-differenza-fra-charles-boyer-e-cary-grant&catid=25:rapporto-confidenziale&Itemid=27
A very well-written film about a famous man married to a wealthy woman, and meets a married woman on a boat. They joke, they meet his grandmother... It turns and churns. An American well-known romantically tinged film made for big audiences which is indeed - as stated - very well-written and at times incredibly sweet for its time.
i disagree w/ the comment that the first quarter's flawed. i feel like their misunderstood estrangement was the most flawed part of the movie and it somewhat upsets what should have been a perfect reunion. there's something haphazard of how they explained their lives to be without each other but maybe in context, that's the point. a very endearing, charming movie nonetheless with killer chemistry + true romance.
cary grant very easily may be the most attractive man to ever have existed, but deborah kerr reveals herself to be charming in her own right, a little more awkwardly but also with an endearing humanity rarely seen on the screen. their kind of love, too, is something rarely seen, on screen or off, a passionate but steady forward-moving impulse, undeniably romantic but with a wholesome beauty.
Its schlock reputation (thanks a lot Sleepless in Seattle!) unfairly overshadows the film's emotional complexity and elegant choreography. Grant and Kerr's perfect performances are rendered as a series of comings and goings, intersections and sharp turns through barriers and divisions in the Cinemascope frame. Deeply moving, despite the awful scenes with the awful children singing the awful songs. They're just awful.