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Mad Love (2002)



Average Rating: 5.3/10
Reviews Counted: 49
Fresh: 23 | Rotten: 26

An overwrought bodice-ripper, Mad Love is more silly than dramatic.


Average Rating: 5.4/10
Critic Reviews: 17
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 10

An overwrought bodice-ripper, Mad Love is more silly than dramatic.



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Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 1,480

My Rating

Movie Info

This lavish historical drama was inspired by the true story of Juana the Mad, who became Queen of Spain before her willfulness and jealousy robbed her of her power. During the late 15th century, Juana (Pilar Lopez de Ayala) was born to the Spanish royal family, and as a teenager her mother, Queen Isabella (Susy Sanchez), arranged for her to marry Archduke Philip (Daniele Liotti) of Brussels. The marriage is a matter of politics more than anything else, and Juana is upset that she must leave


Drama, Romance, Art House & International

Vicente Aranda

Jan 21, 2003

Sony Pictures Classics - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (53) | Top Critics (19) | Fresh (23) | Rotten (26) | DVD (5)

A sumptuously-appointed account of the life of the 16th-century Spanish royal Joan of Castile.

January 10, 2003 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Nothing more or less than an outright bodice-ripper -- it should have ditched the artsy pretensions and revelled in the entertaining shallows.

January 10, 2003 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
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There's a little violence and lots of sex in a bid to hold our attention, but it grows monotonous after a while, as do Joan and Philip's repetitive arguments, schemes and treachery.

October 3, 2002 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News
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Forget the Psychology 101 study of romantic obsession and just watch the procession of costumes in castles and this won't seem like such a bore.

October 3, 2002
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's López de Ayala's show, and she's relentless in her energy and passion.

September 27, 2002 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A bodice-ripper for intellectuals.

September 20, 2002 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

dwells on questions of Joan's madness to the point of exhaustion

February 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews
Old School Reviews

A chick flick of the first order, disguised by just enough historical detail to elevate the proceedings somewhat.

January 10, 2003
Jam! Movies

Aranda's screenplay and direction are rather shallow, so that this bodice-ripper feels more like a Lifetime made-for-cable movie than an epic, tragic romance.

January 3, 2003 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Accuracy and realism are terrific, but if your film becomes boring, and your dialogue isn't smart, then you need to use more poetic license.

December 19, 2002 Full Review Source: Oregonian

Lush and beautifully photographed (somebody suggested the stills might make a nice coffee table book), but ultimately you'll leave the theater wondering why these people mattered.

October 24, 2002 Full Review Source: San Diego Metropolitan
San Diego Metropolitan

So vivid a portrait of a woman consumed by lust and love and crushed by betrayal that it conjures up the intoxicating fumes and emotional ghosts of a freshly painted Rembrandt.

October 24, 2002 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

Less a study in madness or love than a study in schoolgirl obsession.

October 17, 2002
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

There's no point of view, no contemporary interpretation of Joan's prefeminist plight, so we're left thinking the only reason to make the movie is because present standards allow for plenty of nudity.

October 11, 2002 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Who needs love like this?

October 8, 2002 Full Review
Pasadena Weekly

The modern-day royals have nothing on these guys when it comes to scandals. It's only in fairy tales that princesses that are married for political reason live happily ever after.

October 4, 2002 Full Review Source:

Interesting both as a historical study and as a tragic love story.

September 27, 2002 Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

It's not too fast and not too slow. It's not too racy and it's not too offensive. It's not too much of anything.

September 17, 2002 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

It's like an old Warner Bros. costumer jived with sex -- this could be the movie Errol Flynn always wanted to make, though Bette Davis, cast as Joan, would have killed him.

September 13, 2002 Full Review Source: San Diego Union-Tribune
San Diego Union-Tribune

Audience Reviews for Mad Love

It's from spain, so of course it has lots of tits. Can't remember much else.
April 12, 2012
Tsubaki Sanjuro

Super Reviewer

I enjoyed it, as much as you can enjoy a really depressing movie. This is the second Spanish movie that i've watched that's dealt with men abusing their power. They said that Joan was mad but she wasn't mad in the sense of craziness, she was furious. Her husband was cheating on her with multiple other women...of course she's going to be pissed off and act eractic. People knew that the Archduke was unfaithful but they chose to ignore it. The men who knew fell into two camps, either they were helping to cover it up or they were too afraid to act against him. And the women who knew couldnt do a damn thing about it, because well, they were women. I mean I'm sure that it's true to the time period but it really pisses me off. But it was really well done.
February 9, 2007

Super Reviewer

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