An Affair to Remember: 50th Anniversary Edition Leo McCarey

An Affair to Remember: 50th Anniversary Edition Leo McCarey
There’s a mist of awe that floats over this classic romance, and it isn’t entirely warranted. Still, the Affair is a solid film of its type, with a core of melancholy that mostly keeps it from becoming cloying. Cary Grant is a playboy about to settle down with an heiress he doesn’t love. Deborah Kerr is an ex-singer who’s mostly being kept by her own wealthy fiancé. They meet on a cruise ship and inconveniently fall in love, proposing to meet one day at the Empire State Building. But one of them misses the date. The film is a remake of the 1937 movie Love Affair, with both versions being directed by Leo McCarey. This one is the clear winner of the two, in terms of popularity and longevity, and the legacy of sentimentality extends to Nora Ephron’s execrable Sleepless in Seattle. Don’t take Ephron’s word that it’s simply a chick flick — anybody can enjoy this movie, which is dripping with smart dialogue and seems genuinely credible, well, besides the children’s choir that offers a terrifying musical number. No film could possibly live up to Affair’s inflated reputation, and there’s a sense that the film thinks it’s smarter than it actually is. But the separation of the two would-be lovers has a sadness to it that lifts this well out of the potboiler category. Extras on the two-disc edition include a commentary with generally intelligent assessments by Joseph McBride and musical reminiscences with voice-double Marnie Nixon, remembrances of Grant and Kerr from their spouses, slightly starry-eyed assessments of the careers of McCarey and producer Jerry Wald, an episode of AMC Backstory that casts the production in darker tones, a newsreel, and picture galleries. (Fox)