As a fan of such films as Personal Velocity and The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, I looked forward to the latest work by writer-director Rebecca Miller. But I can only describe She Came to Me as odd. A heavy-handed farce, it is acted to perfection by Peter Dinklage, Anne Hathaway and Marisa Tomei but they can’t forge this collection of peculiarities into a cohesive whole.

Dinklage plays a very dour though respected composer of operas. His stylish wife (Hathaway) is a therapist with more than a touch of OCD. Faced with writer’s block, Dinklage takes his dog for a walk in Manhattan and winds up in a bar where a sexy woman finds him amenable to her rather brazen come-on. Imagine her surprise (and ours) when their sexual encounter winds up as the libretto for his latest opera! There is a secondary storyline involving the leading couple’s biracial teenage son who is smitten with the daughter of a woman Hathaway has just hired as a housecleaner.

Only a cast this appealing could put over such ridiculous fodder, and She Came to Me is nothing if not watchable. But it bends itself into a pretzel trying to be quirky and the strain is all too apparent. I’m not giving up on Miller; everyone is entitled to a misfire now and then and she is too talented to be taken for granted. 

Leonard Maltin is one of the world’s most respected film critics and historians. He is best known for his widely-used reference work Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide and its companion volume Leonard Maltin’s Classic Movie Guide, now in its third edition, as well as his thirty-year run on television’s Entertainment Tonight. He teaches at the USC School of Cinematic Arts and appears regularly on Reelz Channel and Turner Classic Movies. His books include The 151 Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons, The Great Movie Comedians, The Disney Films, The Art of the Cinematographer, Movie Comedy Teams, The Great American Broadcast, and Leonard Maltin’s Movie Encyclopedia. He served two terms as President of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, is a voting member of the National Film Registry, and was appointed by the Librarian of Congress to sit on the Board of Directors of the National Film Preservation Foundation. He hosted and co-produced the popular Walt Disney Treasures DVD series and has appeared on innumerable television programs and documentaries. He has been the recipient of awards from the American Society of Cinematographers, the Telluride Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives, and San Diego’s Comic-Con International. Perhaps the pinnacle of his career was his appearance in a now-classic episode of South Park. (Or was it Carmela consulting his Movie Guide on an episode of The Sopranos?) He holds court at Follow him on Twitter and Facebook; you can also listen to him on his weekly podcast: Maltin on Movies. — [Artwork by Drew Friedman]

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July 2024