The Thing Called Love
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A handful of up-and-coming songwriters discover that love is as difficult to navigate as the music business in this romantic comedy-drama from director Peter Bogdanovich. Miranda Presley (Samantha Mathis) is an aspiring singer/songwriter from New York City who loves country music and has decided to take her chances in Nashville, TN, where she hopes to strike it big as a musician. After arriving in the Music City after a long bus ride, Miranda makes her way to the Bluebird Café, a local watering hole with a reputation as a showcase for new talent. The bar's owner, Lucy (K.T. Oslin), takes a… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 57%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Perhaps there's not much new to say about the dues and disappointments involved in breaking into the country music scene, but the scenes are fresh and the emotions real in Peter Bogdanovich's tune-laden, mixed-mood drama."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"It bears as little relation to the real Nashville as Altman's 1975 feature, but director Peter Bogdanovich, the talented cast, and the credited and uncredited screenwriters are so busy conjuring up a charming world of their own that I didn't mind."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"Peter Bogdanovich brings conviction but little else to this upbeat response to Robert Altman's Nashville."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"The Thing Called Love charms and touches."
‑ Fernando F. Croce, Slant Magazine
"Sometimes Bogdanovich is just too intelligent for his own good. While he hardly puts a foot wrong in his observation of shattered ambitions, his curse seems to be that his work will forever be unfashionable."
‑ , Film4
"Bogdanovich's modest staging is occasionally awkward -- his kids still watch John Wayne movies at the drive-in -- but there's a convincing sense of what Nashville's like and how country music works."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"Perhaps no one could have saved Phoenix, who was not lucky enough to find a higher bottom than death. But this performance in this movie should have been seen by someone as a cry for help."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"It's good enough to watch, but not good enough to re-watch."
‑ Eric D. Snider, EricDSnider.com
"It's so sad that Phoenix went out not with a bang but with this whimper."
‑ Don Willmott, Filmcritic.com
"River Phoenix gives a somnambulant impersonation of Christian Slater impersonating Jack Nicholson, and Samantha Mathis spends much of the movie trying to figure out exactly who her character is."
‑ Louis Black, Austin Chronicle
"Although well acted, with early scenes that deftly sketch the atmosphere, the movie, written by Carol Heikkinen, never takes off."
‑ Stephen Holden, New York Times
"A star is born in Nashville."
‑ Randy White, Common Sense Media
"Nothing terribly new happens here, but Bogdanovich plays out his scenes with tenderness and affection, and the honest performances spring to life."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"A highlight of Phoenix's career"
‑ Clint Morris, Moviehole
"Aside from its blatantly commercial aspirations and predictable storyline, there is an appealing cast, enjoyable songs and some funny bits of business."
‑ Jeff Vice, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
More reviews for The Thing Called Love on Rotten Tomatoes

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