Fool for Love

(1985)

by Hanna Soltys, Staff Writer

From 1979-1993, the Cannon Group — headed by Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus — released a string of surprisingly successful low-budget films. They made stars of Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme, they lured bigger stars like Sylvester Stallone and Charles Bronson into their company, and they glommed onto huge franchise properties like Masters of the Universe, Superman, and Spider-Man. Despite the financial success of the films, the company almost always ran at a loss, and Cannon’s insistence on the lowest possible budget yielded bizarre but uniquely charming films. The goal of Cannon Corner is to pay homage to these films.

Love is a battlefield. You always hurt the one you love. To know him, is to love him. I can’t stop loving you. Where did our love go? You’ve lost that lovin’ feelin’. Stop! In the name of love. You can’t hurry love. What’s love got to do with it?

This could go on forever. Love is a theme everything and everyone can touch. In Fool for Love, we see various forms of love from sibling, to parental, to lover, to oneself. And through each form, viewers see how love makes fools out of all of us.

Fool for Love, based on the play by Sam Shepard, follows the turbulent lives of Eddie (Sam Shepard) and May (Kim Basinger) in one night spent just outside of the Mojave Desert. You can immediately tell this is based on a play as the film centers solely around the characters; there are no sweeping shots of the desert, music blaring over the characters’ words, or flashy clothing competing for your attention. Solely, the characters (and lack thereof) deliver the story in few words while depending upon their movements and physical actions.

This film is an extended episode of Mad Men: filled with metaphors, symbolism, and subtle messages. Thinking caps needed when watching this film as I, for the first time in my life, promptly cliff-noted after my viewing.

Eddie is by far my favorite character (there’s really only three others in competition with him) as he’s an unpredictable Roman Candle shooting off whenever he pleases. He shows the full range of the emotional spectrum within five minutes of coming on the screen. And you can really feel his struggle with May and the feelings he has for her.

The Old Man (Harry Dean Stanton) serves as a figment of the imagination and past for Eddie and May. Though, I didn’t catch this at all during the movie. I think on stage it would have been a bit easier to understand.

Overall,this story should have stayed on the stage. Not all plays can become movies (case in point) and not all movies can become plays (Shrek, anyone?). But one thing is for sure: might as well face it, we’re all addicted to love.

Hanna Soltys is a green tea drinker and film critic living in Chicago.

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