Finding a lust for life when not much is left

Category: One More Kiss Reviews | Posted by: admin
Article Date: February 17, 2000 | Publication: The Evening Standard (London) | Author:
Alexander Walker
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Vadim (Leon the Pig Farmer) Jean keeps plugging on: his fifth film is a glossy romance of the Mills and Boon kind, and would have played better had some of the gloss been scraped off. Yet its fight against the easy surrender to miserabilism inherent in its story of Sarah (Valerie Edmond) returning to her Scottish roots to die of cancer has an undernote of truth.

With some people, dying sharpens the appetite for living. It frees them from petty daily restrictions and spurs a need to fill every moment left with energy, though perhaps not, as here, with ecstasy. The story stretches it some by having the ailing girl go in for skydiving and ordering her own DIY coffin. (She also lists "Reading War and Peace" on her preposthumous wish-list, but life isn't long enough for that.) Returning from New York, Sarah reanimates her hangdog dad (James Cosmo) and peps up the marriage of Sam, an old boyfriend (Gerry Butler), at the risk of alienating Sam's justifiably suspicious wife (Valerie Gogan).

Vadim's style is distinctly up-scale - Scots border folk turn out in black tie for an opera concert. Unlikely: though you never know, the provinces can still set examples for us metropolitan slobs sampling Verdi in T-shirts. And his photographer, Mike Fox, swings his wide-screen camera with easy assurance over the best features of landscape and natives, selling you the transcendent look of earthly leave-taking, without needing to feel the pain of it.

Copyright 2000 Associated Newspapers Ltd.