I was not expecting much from Cupid & Cate.
After all, after reading that the 2000 film would be broadcast on St. Valentine's week via the Hallmark Channel, I was subjected to the tortures of endless promos for the "Love and Romance" week.
In short, I was expecting the quintessential, dreaded and demonic cash seeking "Date Movie".
You know the drill, a cute little romantic alleged comedy, starring the likes of Sandra Bullock or Hugh Grant or even worse, Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant TOGETHER.
Even commercials or online descriptions of the film, portrayed the film as something like: "The only thing standing in the way of true love for Cate....is her fiancée".
Hand me the remote.... Survivor in the Amazon is on!
To be honest, the film starts off just that way. It was easily predicted that the well meaning, but dull as watching paint drying fiancée would hit the road before the start of the second act. However, it quickly became apparent that the romantic aspects of the film, although genuinely portrayed by an excellent cast, were secondary. The film is primarily about the strained relationship between a father and daughter and how their experiences parallel one another.
It made for fascinating viewing, with outstanding performances from Philip Bosco and Mary-Louise Parker. After struggling to sit through the nearly banal Mr. Wonderful, where Ms. Parker was given 1 descent scene, here she really shines. One can easily see the development in her art over her performances from the early 90's. As good as her performance was in A Place For Annie, she's even better here. A very tender and above all, real performance. Peter Gallagher and Brenda Fricker are also standouts.
Added attractions to the film are beautiful autumn scenes and Ms. Parker's rather eccentric wardrobe (check out her hat during the christening scene, just stunning).
Cupid & Cate is highly recommended viewing and would actually make a better Father's Day DVD purchase than for Cupid's holiday.
I even forgot The West Wing was on.
Three and a half stars out of four.