Judging by this movie, Ernest Hemingway had an interesting life, to say the least. In Love and War is based on Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms and more importantly Agnes von Kurowksy's recently discovered diaries, about an 18-year old boy, Hemingway, and the nurse who got him walking again after a wartime injury, Agnes von Kurowsky.
Chris O'Donnel delivers one of his better roles as Ernest Hemingway, and Sandra Bullock is Agnes. Bullock has the look for the part but she seems a little emotionless for the part, and it becomes ever more clear as the movie goes on. The chemistry really never flies between either of the actors, which might deter some people from this otherwise great romance.
My main and only real problem with the film is that the point-of-view fluctuates poorly. Sometimes the movie seems that it is from Hemingway's point of view, and other times from Kurowsky's. The fact is is that In Love and War is based on the nurse's diaries, yet it is Hemingway's feelings that we are always exposed to first. The emotions are never revealed about Kurowsky as the scenes go on. It seems to me that since she is supposed to be the starring character that she should be the one dealing with Hemingway, not the other way around.
Still, the romance progresses fairly well and climaxes at a pretty good scene near the end. If you know a lot about Hemingway then the final moments won't be quite as tense (trying to figure out whether they will get back together or go their separate ways), but I was impressed by how the movie goes. Of course, the film is directed by Richard Attenborough, the guy who did Ghandi, so that already helps.
The war elements of the film are short to say the least but well proportioned to the more important story, the love story.
In Love and War is a good movie but no sparks fly on the screen between the two main characters.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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