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Movie review: Good acting can't save weak drama in 'Face of Love'

Published March 28, 2014 3:19 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Two really good actors, Annette Bening and Ed Harris, swim against a current of melodramatic mush in the drama "The Face of Love."

Bening plays Nikki, five years after the death of her architect husband, Garrett (played by Harris), who sees someone who looks just like him — a painter and art teacher, Tom Young (also played by Harris) — and pursues him. Soon a romance blossoms, but is Nikki in love with Tom or with the image of Garrett?

Years ago, Alfred Hitchcock played out this scenario for psychological thrills in "Vertigo," but here director/co-writer Arie Posen can barely muster a wan Hallmark romance as Nikki works to hide Tom from her adult daughter (Jess Weixler) and a family friend (Robin Williams).

At least the leads bring a little chemistry. Bening brings some depth to Nikki's obsession, while Harris finds some passion in a thankless role as the clueless guy.

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'The Face of Love'

Opens Friday, March 28, at the Tower Theatre; rated PG-13 for brief drug references; 92 minutes.