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4.6 out of 5 stars90
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 11 January 2003
There is a romantic glow to this very undervalued film. It is a throwback to films of the 40's and 50's. Robert DeNiro and Meryl Streep give old style performances to match the story's atmosphere, which is sweet and sentimental. It does not make light of the subject matter of having an affair but instead is a film about finding love itself. In keeping with that theme there is no sex in this film. The love that gently blossoms is one of the heart.
Frank Raftis (DeNiro) and Molly Gilmore (Streep) are going about their mundane if uninspiring lives amidst the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season in New York when they literally run into each other at a bookshop. Both are married and when they meet again on the train both are taking to work, a friendship begins. Even the small prospect of riding to work together is handled gingerly as both are good people who would not want to hurt their spouses.
As they become more dependent on each other the moral dilema escalates. There are charming scenes as each almost misses the train, and the chance to talk. Her father is sick and her response is to call him. It is the little things that separate this film from others. Frank and Molly fall in love for the reason we all do; because of how we feel about ourselves when we are with that person.
When they finally can not stand it anymore they have a clumsy, and aborted, attempt at making love. Both DeNiro and Streep are wonderful at capturing the moral dilema of two people already married who have found the love of their life. Dianne Wiest has a nice turn as Molly's best friend Isabelle and Harvey Keitel as DeNiro's pal Ed is engaging. Jane Kaczmarek, of television's 'Malcolm in the Middle' fame, gives a nice performance as Franks's wife Ann.
This film begins at Christmas and ends at Christmas a year later. It is a sweet and charming film about falling in love and finding happiness. Dave Grusin helps the atmosphere with a nice score that perfectly captures the sweet exhilaration and anguish of Frank and Molly's love. If you enjoy films like 'An Affair to Remember' then chances are you'll love this one also. It's a nice film to own.
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on 10 May 2006
I first saw this film way back in '84 when it got it's UK release and I have to say that it has aged very well (which you can't say about many films made in the 1980's). Yes, there are probably more dramatic and exciting movies out there, but the gentleness and poignancy of this film made it a subtle rarity in the flashy 80's.

This is really a modern-day re-telling of the 1940's Brit classic 'Brief Encounter', and it is beautifully done. De Niro and Streep are (as expected) excellent, and they are supported by a fantastic cast (Weist amd Kietel being the most notable). However the best thing is the wonderful score by Dave Grusin (I became a fan thereafter). The piece is called 'Rondo' and can be found on his CD 'Mountain Dance' which is still available). Recommended.
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on 29 June 2007
"Falling In Love" deserve it's fair share of attention and fame. If you are into complete 100% realism, then you would have a bone to pick with this film. I mean true love... if you believe in love at first sight; you could probably believe that two strangers' chance meeting could be the beginning of something beautiful. Or if hardened by cynicism, you'd probably say, nay it'd never happen --it's just boredom in life's routine. But one thing that can't be ignored is the acting. Any two actors might've played Frank and Molly in this low-keyed way (and been as good), but it is the fact it's De Niro and Streep together (reunited from "The Deer Hunter") that keeps the picture watch able. The minimal mundane dialogue and what they did with the material was a moving portrayal in this film.

Ms. Streep portrays Molly Gillmore, a doctor's wife and commercial artist; and De Niro, Frank Raftis, a construction foreman, husband and father of two young boys. Fate brings the two together on a Metro North commuter train from Westchester County into Manhattan, in New York. Molly and Frank are good, moral suburbanites who just happen to be "Falling In Love," all the time struggling to remain loyal to their respective families.

Maryl Streep, to me mainly, has done her part on this film. She is not only natural and luminous, but you even don't think that she's acting! She's lived this whole life through! The way she's hesitating whether she should stop the affair with a married man (DeNiro) or just let it all be. The way she struggles herself and this new feeling that doesn't allow her to lead her normal life anymore is believable as well. You won't doubt a minute that she's feeling all this. As for De Niro even though he's an actor he always embodies such charisma and sex appeal, he's able to carry himself as such a regular simple man-all that there is to him is that he is in love with a married woman other than his wife.

I also liked how the film does not try to justify adultery at the same time. There are some nice nostalgia vis-a-vis sumptuous New York winter bustle scenes of Grand Central Station, Rizzoli's on Fifth Ave, hot dog vendors, high-eighties hair and clothing fashions. The score by Dave Grusin (Mountain Dance) completed this movie and is just amazing till this day. "Falling In Love" is a rather sweet but serious film that paints a very realistic portrait of marriage and infidelity. If you are a fan of either actor, this is a must-see.
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VINE VOICEon 5 July 2002
A commercial failure in the cinema, this is a simple love story of how two married people meet in a bookshop by accident and begin an affair which has profound implications for their respective marriages. Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro, two of the most charismatic actors in the business carry the story to a satisfactory conclusion, unlike Brief Encounter. Certainly watchable for those who like this sort of thing, making sure you keep a box of kleenex handy. Picture and sound are both very good for a DVD. Shame it lacks extras such as a trailer and maybe actor interviews. Nevertheless, if you have seen this movie on telly, a good buy.
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on 12 January 2009
I love this film. Both Streep and de Niro give great performances - the chemistry between them is almost plapable. The restraint that Streep shows is brilliant. The ending is very romantic. This is a grown up love story acted by actors at the height of their powers. I believe it will date well.
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on 7 August 2001
It's slow, and it's soppy, and it's one of the best romantic films you will ever see. De Niro and Streep are superb simply because they manage to play ordinary people so well. The supporting cast is also excellent (particularly the lead characters' best friends), and the score, by Dave Grusin, is outstanding. A classic.
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on 28 February 2012
I re-ordered this film as I accidently broke the previous DVD. I love the film so much that I just had to get another! Its such a feelgood film and I often find myself watching it again and again because it leaves me with such a warm glow. What I also love about it is the fact that it is was made in the early 80's, a simpler time, and yet not so long ago that we cannot idenitfy with the characters, far from it. There are no mobile phones - people simply picked up the phone when they wanted to speak to someone and actually met each other, not bombard each other with boring and meaningless texts! The music all throughout the film is beautifully done, very moving. The main theme tune is apparently called Mountain Dance, which is very bubbly, bouncy and happy, again leaving you with that feelgood feeling. The main characters, Molly and Frank, are just made for each other. They are such kind, gentle characters, who quite literally cannot help but fall in love. The other actors and actresses involved also take fantastic parts. This is a film which I do not believe will ever date. I challenge any woman not to watch it and not be captivated by it.
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on 28 December 2012
I love Meryl Streep and this is the film which did it for me.The first time I saw it I hated Robert Deniro's performance....over the years he has grown on me.....just don't think he is good enough for Meryl.
Still think the guy playing her husband is miscaste......he looks like a maniac....you don't have any empathy with him at all!
I adore Brief Encounter which this is a nod to.....in it you love the husband but still have sympathy with the heroine and her passion.
When I was in New York this year I went to Grand Central station to see where they met.
Another of my cosy afternoon films.
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on 28 September 2008
It might be a little slow in getting started which might but people off but it just adds to the magic of the story. I couldnt believe it when I read that this was a flop at the box office, I really enjoyed it.

It's a beautiful story about two people who think they have found love really find it. Meryl Streep & Robert De Nero was inspiring and truley believeable as Molly & Frank.
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on 16 May 2014
Meryl Streep, as always, is excellent in this film. And it’s nicely made, with Robert de Niro providing a good foil for her. We soon realised it’s quite old, as films go – the lack of mobile phones, and the presence of old-fashioned dials on house phones rather gave it away. It was in fact made in 1984.

However the subject-matter is all too modern. Frank and Molly bump into each other in a bookshop, while Christmas shopping. Each is happily married to someone else – and although a predictable switch of parcels happens, they might not have met again but for the coincidence of being on the same train.

A friendship starts… and escalates far too quickly, each convinced they have found their soul-mate. I didn’t like the message conveyed – that the promises of marriage can be thrown aside, even when the marriages are, basically, pretty good.

Still, it was reasonably entertaining, very well done, and even mildly amusing in places. Five stars for the production, three – or a little less - for the storyline. Four overall.
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