The Thing Called Love (1993)



Critic Consensus: 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.

The Thing Called Love Videos & Photos

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 … More

Rating: PG-13
Genre: Drama, Romance, Musical & Performing Arts, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Carol Heikkinen
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 7, 2006
Paramount Pictures


as James Wright

as Miranda Presley

as Kyle Davidson

as Linda Lue Linden

as Herself

as Herself

as Himself

as Taxicab Driver

as Singing Cop

as Bluebird Waitress

as Reverend Raymond

as Doug Siskin

as Publisher

as Desk Cop

as Writer's Circle Part...

as Writer's Circle Part...

as Rear-ended Driver

as Onlooker

as Onlooker
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for The Thing Called Love

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (7)

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.

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top 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.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top 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.

Full Review… | June 23, 2002
Chicago Reader
Top 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.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 23, 2012
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Thing Called Love

This was River's last movie. About a group of musicians seeling fame and fortune.

Candy Rose

Super Reviewer

good movie..

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.

Chosen 718

Super Reviewer

The Thing Called Love Quotes

– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)

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