"Impromptu" Review

12 May 1991

Saw "Impromptu" this week. Now, it doesn't have robots blowing up or people being thrown through windows or some guy suspected of murder or a shrink who's also a cannibal or any of that sort of stuff that seems to sell movies these days. Well it does have various birds and animals getting shot or blown up, and one guy gets shot in the arm (not seriously), and some people yell at one another, so maybe it does have a chance in the arena. Anyway it's all about these very interesting and creative people (not special effects) and their various social and sexual interactions in Paris in the early 1840s, so there's some beautiful photography (all shot on location in France) and even what some people would call "implied sex." Gasp!

And the main character is a woman who's very forthright and strong and determined who refuses to be treated like a plaything and who makes her own way in the world and loves whom she chooses when she chooses. And one guy she decides she's interested in is this foreign refugee-type who's a brilliant musician but kind of sick (and no, not from AIDS or crack-smoking or anything like that, but something old-fashioned like TB or something), and all sorts of strange and weird and funny things happen to her and her circle of friends/enemies/lovers/whatever along the way.

Oh yeah, the names of these characters are George Sand (she's the woman I referred to above) and Frédéric Chopin and Marie d'Agoult and Franz Liszt and Eugène Delacroix and like that but don't be frightened -- they weren't plaster busts of Great People but were just human beings like you and me except that none of them are alive anymore. Except in their music and books and poems and paintings. And this movie.

So anyway I guess you could say that I liked it. I'd sure rather see this movie again than some much-touted pic about some talentless bleached blonde from Detroit who thinks she's so great. And anyway the music in this movie is far, far better.

"Impromptu." Go see it. And remember, there are a few gunshots and explosions, so if you like that sort of thing it won't be a total waste.