"The Thomas Crown Affair" Review
© 1999 Fontaine L.
- spoilers -

Okay, I admit. I had high expectations. My friend Jody saw it twice already, and she said she'd see it with me again, and not just because of Pierce Brosnan's most excellent behind. I was disappointed (geez, that just seems to be my way of life lately after "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace" and "Blair Witch Project"), but I'm happy to say not overly so. I was only bored for a few minutes, and I thought Rene Russo's breasts showed up on screen just a tad too often.

Another problem I had was with Pierce Brosnan's Thomas Crown. Sure, he's rich, suave, handsome, intelligent, and whatnot (heck, I think Mr. Crown the finance geek secretly fantasizes about being James Bond), but I'd like to see more of his motives. Sure, there was foreshadowing: he'd take on a bet of 100,000 dollars without so much as a batting an eyelash; he'd ruin a boat just for thrills. But when I ask myself why on earth a millionaire like him would go to such lengths to steal a painting only to return it, I can't come up with a satisfactory answer. Other than creative license. I probably would have enjoyed Crown's slick maneuvers a lot more if that one thought hadn't kept bugging me.

I also want to know how he could've fallen in love with a woman like Catherine Banning (played by Rene "I'm forty but I've still got a nice body" Russo) so quickly. I mean it's not like it's a case of opposites attract. It didn't feel right. Banning seemed just a little too smug, just a little too self-assured. I suppose Russo's nose had something to do with that impression, but who am I to judge someone's appearance? I didn't like it and I can't come up with a legitimate reason why. However I did like how Russo gradually showed us the fragile feminine Banning under the tough act she puts up. When Crown "returns" the painting to the museum, we see some priceless moments in the surveillance room as Banning tries to hide joy then disappointment at Crown's escape.

"The Thomas Crown Affair" was like a sightseeing tour of the New York area with our brilliant and attractive fourty-something stars. The scenery and cinematography were just breathtaking, and the score added a lot of class. It's tempting to label the film as all style and no substance, because there is too much socializing and contrived romance and too little action, but when one thinks about it: Well, the word "affair" does have two meanings. I'm just glad that our two lovebirds stayed in love (proving that, hey, even rich spoiled bored people can find true love) and we all learned a tiny moral lesson (as Dennis Leary's Michael did) along the way.

Rating: B- (First viewing, 9/7/99)