(Rex Bromfield, 1982)
Working a straight romantic drama, Bromfield's penchant for caricature becomes agonizing, his sentimentality toxic, his leisurely tendencies definitively turgid. You sit there scouring the lingering closeups of Glynnis O'Connor for anything resembling information - did this really need to run 109 minutes? He does find occasional outlets for his low-key wit, but no one has ever described Burton Cummings as 'low-key', and of course his central presence is the movie's fascinating focal point. Playing an egotistical, booze-and-coke fueled, writers blocked creep of a rock star is not much of a stretch for the man - they even steal his real-life album cover. For a while, on counterpoint to O'Connor's inspirational quest for love and literacy, plunking away at his piano and acting obnoxious, he gives the movie what energy it has. But he can't navigate the treachery of the romantic narrative - their convergence is not just unlikely, it's inexplicable, and he's no less obnoxious afterwards. Paul Sorvino is too good for the movie so it makes sense that he just disappears, and I demand a sequel explaining exactly what that black maid has been doing with herself as she sits unpaid in that empty shack for the middle 100 minutes.