The title of this film as I watched it the other day read [i]2 Brothers & a Bride[/i], but since the pressing of that DVD apparently the title has changed to [i]A Foreign Affair[/i]. I know the name of a movie has absolutely no effect on one's judgement of a film in general, but if I was simply reviewing between these two titles then I'd say they made a greater and more ideal choice with [i]A Foreign Affair[/i]. The new title after seeing the movie just fits better and more comfortably, just as the film itself fits in my underrated movies category.
Tim Blake Nelson and David Arquette play Jake and Josh, two small town farmer brothers who are hit with the loss of their aging mother at the beginning of the film. This is more than just a sad experience for them, more than just the loss of a close relative...this is a life emergency. Their mother took care of every single thing in their lives but farming. She cleaned their clothes and cooked their home cooked meals each day. Jake and Josh cannot go on living unless they have a home cooked dinner every night, so Jake makes a trip to the local library and, with the help of the librarian, logs on to the internet for the first time in his life (or at least it seems like it). He finds a site that displays Russian women that apparently wish to marry American men, and before either of them know it they're in St. Petersburg on a 14 day trip to find a bride. That's singular, not plural. They just want [i]one[/i] bride and only to cook and clean. In exchange she shall receive American citizenship.
Tim Blake Nelson's Jake is very uptight and by the book to every girl he meets and makes it clear what he wants. David Arquette's Josh is reluctant to even go on this trip at first, but once he is there he finds that women all around desire him, which is something he's never experienced before. He becomes a changed man very quickly and he and his brother become more distant at a fast rate. The character in the center of this all is Angela, a journalist who is filming a documentary about the mail order bride phenomenon. She is not from Russia but knows the language fluently, and after some convincing she gets permission to follow Jake around with the camera and also act as a translator for him. Angela is played by Emily Mortimer, one of the most underrated actresses working today. I am extremely excited about the upcoming film she stars in called [i]Dear Frankie[/i], and her past work in [i]Lovely & Amazing[/i], [i]Young Adam[/i], and [i]Bright Young Things [/i]is marvelous. Here she creates a powerful and memorably human character, and her scenes shared with Tim Blake Nelson are enchanting. Their relationship is well conceived by writer Geert Heetebrij and their attraction for each other is unlikely, even to each other.
This is a nice little gem of a movie that deserves to be uncovered by more audiences. Nelson and Arquette both have executive producer credits on this film, which I assume gave it much more of a chance to get out there than it could've had. There is a giant amount of smarts inserted in this tiny low budget movie.