A Little Romance is a romantic comedy from 1979, starring a very young Diane Lane and Laurence Olivier. It tells the story of a young couple who fall in love in Paris. She, an American in France for a movie role, and he, a smart young man who has caught her attention with his wit and French ways.
Shortly after meeting, the two hit it off and begin doing everything they can to see each other. During one of these such encounters, they run into an interesting older man who seems to have lived an incredible life. While he recounts various grandiose tales, he lets them in on a story of true love that lasts forever. All you have to do is kiss on a gondola under a certain bridge at sunset as the bells toll.
So naturally, that is what they must do. But to do it, they must run away from home with this man they barely know and get from Paris to Venice. Naturally this isn’t going to go as smoothly as they think…
The first thing I want to say about this film is that it was quite a surprise to me. Romance is not my top genre, although I do enjoy them from time to time. So the fact that it gripped my attention throughout the whole movie is actually a feat in itself. But if I’m being honest here, I really enjoyed the whole movie. It had enough zany humor to keep me chuckling here and there but also enough action and interesting character interactions that I was never bored. Considering the age of the movie, that is pretty impressive.
The acting was pretty good, considering the main actors were children at the time. But that brings up one of my favorite little tangents about this one – two of the characters in this movie look like the kids from Stranger Things. Daniel, played by Thelonious Bernard, looks just like Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin), and I’m not quite sure the actress’s name, but Laura’s best friend in the movie looks like Finn Wolfhard with a wig on. This added to the humor for me for sure, and I cannot be the only one who sees it. (If you do too, leave a comment below).
Overall, this movie was funny even today, rather than being a product of it’s time, which is always appreciated. Kudos to Warner Bros. for bringing this one to HD for a new wave of viewers.
While the aesthetic at the time is not all that appealing, and there is a good amount of film grain, this movie still looks fantastic. There are great scenes and a lot of interesting set pieces that look quite sharp and very interesting, despite the age of the movie. Overall, this is as good as this movie has ever looked and is a worthy upgrade from stills I’ve seen of the DVD release.
The audio track is a DTS Master Audio 2.0 track, featuring the score that won the Oscar and is quite exciting throughout. I was quite pleased indeed. It’s nice to not have a very airy, canny sounding audio track with an older film like this, and the dialogue was mixed very well without getting lost in any action or music.
This Blu-ray release comes in a standard blue case with a Blu-ray disc. Sadly, the only other special feature is the trailer for the film.
Our Recommendation for A Little Romance:
An interesting blast from the past of a romantic comedy that still has entertainment value decades later. Couple that with the hilarious added bonus of character lookalikes and this is a not bad pickup. Personally, I love to support these Warner Bros. Archives releases, because I am a firm believer in film preservation, and these better scans and Blu-ray releases are a great way to signal to the corporations out there that viewers want more.