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The Thing Called Love

The Thing Called Love (1993)

tomatometer

57

Average Rating: 5.4/10
Reviews Counted: 21
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 9

The last film River Phoenix completed before his death, The Thing Called Love doesn't have much new to say about show business, but it's energetic and well acted.

60

Average Rating: 5.5/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 2

The last film River Phoenix completed before his death, The Thing Called Love doesn't have much new to say about show business, but it's energetic and well acted.

audience

71

liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 10,062

My Rating

Movie Info

A handful of up-and-coming songwriters discover that love is as difficult to navigate as the music business in this romantic comedy-drama from director Peter Bogdanovich. Miranda Presley (Samantha Mathis) is an aspiring singer/songwriter from New York City who loves country music and has decided to take her chances in Nashville, TN, where she hopes to strike it big as a musician. After arriving in the Music City after a long bus ride, Miranda makes her way to the Bluebird Café, a local watering

Mar 7, 2006

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All Critics (23) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (12) | Rotten (9) | DVD (5)

Perhaps there's not much new to say about the dues and disappointments involved in breaking into the country music scene, but the scenes are fresh and the emotions real in Peter Bogdanovich's tune-laden, mixed-mood drama.

March 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Bogdanovich's modest staging is occasionally awkward -- his kids still watch John Wayne movies at the drive-in -- but there's a convincing sense of what Nashville's like and how country music works.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Although well acted, with early scenes that deftly sketch the atmosphere, the movie, written by Carol Heikkinen, never takes off.

August 30, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It bears as little relation to the real Nashville as Altman's 1975 feature, but director Peter Bogdanovich, the talented cast, and the credited and uncredited screenwriters are so busy conjuring up a charming world of their own that I didn't mind.

June 23, 2002 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Perhaps no one could have saved Phoenix, who was not lucky enough to find a higher bottom than death. But this performance in this movie should have been seen by someone as a cry for help.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A star is born in Nashville.

January 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Peter Bogdanovich brings conviction but little else to this upbeat response to Robert Altman's Nashville.

June 14, 2009 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

It's good enough to watch, but not good enough to re-watch.

April 8, 2006 Full Review Source: EricDSnider.com
EricDSnider.com

Nothing terribly new happens here, but Bogdanovich plays out his scenes with tenderness and affection, and the honest performances spring to life.

April 6, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

The Thing Called Love charms and touches.

March 11, 2006 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

It's so sad that Phoenix went out not with a bang but with this whimper.

January 12, 2006 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

A highlight of Phoenix's career

March 11, 2005
Moviehole

Sometimes Bogdanovich is just too intelligent for his own good. While he hardly puts a foot wrong in his observation of shattered ambitions, his curse seems to be that his work will forever be unfashionable.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

River Phoenix gives a somnambulant impersonation of Christian Slater impersonating Jack Nicholson, and Samantha Mathis spends much of the movie trying to figure out exactly who her character is.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Aside from its blatantly commercial aspirations and predictable storyline, there is an appealing cast, enjoyable songs and some funny bits of business.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Audience Reviews for The Thing Called Love

This was River's last movie. About a group of musicians seeling fame and fortune.
December 29, 2007
thmtsang
T Tsang

Super Reviewer

good movie..
April 8, 2009
weelee18
Lea Lea

Super Reviewer

A bit of a chick flick but it's a good film with some great performances by Samantha Mathis [she is sexy as hell], Dermot Mulroney, Sandra Bullock, and the late River Phoenix.
January 24, 2008
Chosen718

Super Reviewer

A great movie.
April 18, 2007
iLeo
Leo L

Super Reviewer

Movies Like The Thing Called Love

    1. James Wright: How many Beatles were there?
    2. Kyle Davidson: Three and Ringo.
    – Submitted by Frances H (9 months ago)
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