Prelude to a Kiss (1992) – Review

1 Star

The Tony Award-winning stage play Prelude to a Kiss has been turned into an awful and dull movie. Originally set in Manhattan, the film version has supplanted the characters and location to Chicago. Author Craig Lucas, who adapted his own play, and director Norman René are unable to capture any of the romantic spirit or comedic energy that made this material a hit on Broadway. Alec Baldwin and Meg Ryan do their best with the script, their chemistry is the only thing that holds together this awkward and profoundly unfunny romantic comedy.

Newlyweds Peter (Alec Baldwin) and Rita (Meg Ryan) find their vows of marriage tested by a supernatural event. At their wedding reception, an elderly man appears and asks if he may kiss the bride. Rita agrees and before long Peter realizes that his care-free, hard-drinking, big-hearted bride is no longer the girl he knew. When he realizes that Rita and the old man have switched bodies, Peter must find him to get back the woman he loves.

Prelude to a Kiss positions itself as a modern-day fairy tale for city-dwellers. Baldwin is especially good here in a role that he perfected during the play’s run. It’s Meg Ryan who is luminous as the socialist-minded free-spirit with a pretty smile. The lead actors are so good that you wish the material gave them something more interesting to do. Prelude to a Kiss is a forgettable tale with two attractive stars that deserve better.

Director: Norman René
Stars: Alec Baldwin, Meg Ryan, Kathy Bates

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