I had no idea that Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro starred in a fairly light-hearted romance Falling in Love (1984), but they did.
Points to make:
1. The soundtrack of this movie utilizes Dave Grusin's kind of jazzy hit "Mountain Dance."
I feel like I heard this song a lot as a child. I wonder if my dad had this somewhere or played it on the piano or something. Anyway, it's suprisingly timeless in feel, but definitively 80s. It also makes this film definitively full of Hollywood happy romance.
2. This is based on the British film Brief Encounter (1945). And while Falling in Love follows the same almost adulterous affair between two adults on a train plot, it's far less proper and less repressed than Brief Encounter. What I love about the latter is that it is so suppressed. It's told from the perspective of a woman in flashbacks. We witness a scene where she's saying goodbye to a man and then drives off with her husband. She reflects on her relationship with that man until we see the first scene again and really see why she was so irritated and anxious the whole time. I cannot recommend it enough.
Anyway, Falling in Love eventually has the two leads reveal to their respective spouses their severe attachment to someone outside their marriages. So, instead of bravely continuing on in their (what looks to be very good) relationships, they give up on them. It's just seemed like a cop out to me so their could be a "happy" Hollywood ending, but I just felt bad for the left spouses. They seemed pretty cool to me, so the film lost me in the end.
3. I kind of like De Niro in a romantic role. He's not especially charming, but he acts like a decent man and is pretty low key. And Streep is, as always, just lovely and fun. She brings a lot of emotion to a very minimally scripted role. There's a moment when she's getting dressed to see De Niro and she keeps trying on different outfits. Suddenly, she stares at herself in the mirror and asks herself, "What are you doing?" It's a seriousness about consequences that gets lost by the end of the film. But overall, the chemistry between the two leads is sweet and comfortable. They are awkward for most of the film, but it seems to come from respect for their other attachments. It's nice to see the pair of them be so natural.
4. Have you listened to it yet?
It'll be stuck in your head the rest of the day.
5. Anyway, you can find Falling in Love online, but I'd recommend seeing Brief Encounter first.