The Thing Called Love

1993

The Thing Called Love

Critics 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.

57%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 21

70%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 10,189
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Movie Info

Four young musicians attempt to find success and happiness in the world of country music in this drama. Sharing a common hangout in a popular Nashville club, the quartet becomes involved in romances and intense rivalries while they struggle to achieve fame.

Cast

River Phoenix
as James Wright
Samantha Mathis
as Miranda Presley
Dermot Mulroney
as Kyle Davidson
Sandra Bullock
as Linda Lue Linden
Katy Moffatt
as Herself
Pam Tillis
as Herself
Kevin Welch
as Himself
Larry Black
as Taxicab Driver
O'Neal Compton
as Singing Cop
Zoe Cassavetes
as Bluebird Waitress
Paul Hampton
as Doug Siskin
Kevin Bourland
as Publisher
Tom Nolan
as Desk Cop
Rosie Flores
as Writer's Circle Participant
Jason Klassi
as Writer's Circle Participant
Jack Verbois
as Rear-ended Driver
Ancel Cook
as Onlooker
Rick Hall
as Onlooker
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Critic Reviews for The Thing Called Love

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (12) | Rotten (9)

  • 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.

    Mar 26, 2009 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    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.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

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

    Aug 30, 2004
  • 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.

    Jun 23, 2002 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…
  • A star is born in Nashville.

    Jan 2, 2011 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Thing Called Love

  • Nov 27, 2009
    It's River Phoenix's last performance, but the story is all messed up I guess. The film exhibits how a single talent and passion can change one's life if used properly. The music is excellent in this film. But the ending did not offer any favorable conclusion at all.
    quentin t Super Reviewer
  • Jan 24, 2008
    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 7 Super Reviewer
  • Dec 29, 2007
    This was River's last movie. About a group of musicians seeling fame and fortune.
    Candy R Super Reviewer

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