Billy Crystal writes, directs, and stars in this utterly charming and fun romantic comedy. It's a bit of a mix of When Harry Met Sally with some doses of Woody Allen, but I don't think that's a problem.
Crystal is Mickey Gordon- a frazzled NBA referee. After he goes to bury his father n France, Mickey ends up meeting and falling in love with Ellen Andrews- a fellow American making a great living abroad for an airline. They end up spending only a bit of time with one another initially, but this sparks grows into a bright flame of a relationship that, over the course of several years, goes through all the ups and downs that usually accompany something this special, and shows how, if it's meant to be, a relationship can get though pretty much anything.
What I liked about this film is the structure. Its a frame story told mostly in flashback by friends of the couple who are waiting for them at a restaurant. One of Mickey's longtime buddies is getting married and his bride to be has yet to meet Mickey or Ellen, so everybody decides to fill her in, and that too is how the audience discovers the story.
I'm a bit on the fence when it comes to Crystal. I don't dislike the guy, but Im unsure if I really like his work or not. It can be good, yes, but sometimes I find it hard to get into, or take it on its own terms without making comparisons to others. Here it worked for me. I thought this was a delightful little romp, and I'm not usually into this kind of film. I do think that he personally struggled a bit with the more dramatic stuff, but overall got through it okay. Debra Winger is great as Ellen, and she makes up where Billy falters. She's not quite a good with the comedy, but does okay, and in the end, they balance themselves out fine. As their friends we get the likes of Joe Mantegna, Cynthia Stevenson, Richard Masur, Julie Kavner, and Cathy Moriarty, et al, and they are a fine supporting cast. There's also tons of cameos, almost all of them from NBA players, announcers, and the like, and they too do a good job and seem to have a lot of fun.
All in all, I found a lot to like here. It's shot well, funny, touching, and just made me feel good and sappy, and whatnot. Sure it's not the most original thing, but it's done better than it had to be, so yeah, give it a watch.