Annette Bening in The Face of Love (2013)

Rebuilding Past Love

Nikki Lostrom (Annette Bening) has never really gotten over the death of her husband Garrett (Ed Harris), yes during the day she manages to keep going but in the loneliness of the evening is when the memories come back. But then Nikki meets Tom (Ed Harris), a dead ringer for her late husband, not just physically but in every way right down to his kindness and tenderness it throws her. But as Nikki and Tom become close she finds herself confronted by a problem, she doesn't know how to tell him that he looks like her late husband and there is no way some thing as big as this will ever stay secret especially when her neighbour Roger (Robin Williams) has been carrying a torch for her.

I suppose in a way "The Face of Love" is interesting with this unusual look at a woman who is struggling to move on from the love of her life when she meets his doppelganger. It is an idea which tosses up various possibilities as we watch her partially deal with a sense of guilt over what feels like betrayal of the man she truly loved. But at the same time we get to see this woman living not only in the past but trying to recreate that whilst also turn this man who already has many of the attributes of her late husband in to him, becoming a little obsessed in doing so.

Ed Harris in The Face of Love (2013)

The trouble is that whilst I like the idea of a woman confronted by the spitting image of her late husband the actual movie did little for me. And the reason being is that it just seemed to float with no real sense that beyond the truth eventually coming out the movie wasn't really going anywhere. As such the focus was all on Nikki and how she dealt with this second chance and after a while there needed to be something more.

One thing is very clear about "The Face of Love", it is that great actors can't make a movie and so whilst Annette Bening delivers the glow of a woman who finds love again the writing doesn't allow her to do any more. As for Ed Harris and Robin Williams they are robbed of decent dialogue and so end up milling around in scenes there purely for the character of Nikki to have someone to talk to.

What this all boils down to is that "The Face of Love" didn't work for me and seemed like a decent idea which failed to make the transition from paper to the screen struggling with a lack of focus on where it would go.