I Love Trouble (1994 film)

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I Love Trouble
Theatrical release poster
Directed byCharles Shyer
Written byCharles Shyer
Nancy Meyers
Produced byNancy Meyers
CinematographyJohn Lindley
Edited byWalter Murch
Music byDavid Newman
Distributed byBuena Vista Pictures Distribution
Release date
  • June 29, 1994 (1994-06-29) (U.S.)
Running time
123 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$45 million[1]
Box office$61.9 million[2]

I Love Trouble is a 1994 American romantic action comedy film starring Julia Roberts and Nick Nolte. It was written and produced by the husband-and-wife team of Nancy Meyers and Charles Shyer, and directed by Shyer.


Peter Brackett and Sabrina Peterson are two rival Chicago newspaper reporters. Sabrina is young and ambitious, whereas Peter is a fading star and has just published his first novel. They reluctantly join forces to unravel the mystery behind a train derailment. They argue over almost everything but discover a conspiracy involving genetically altered milk.



In February 1993 it was announced Nolte had been cast as one of the leads.[3] Nolte and Roberts notoriously did not get along with each other during the making of the film. Nolte, who has since disowned the film, felt that he sold his soul by doing it, and that he did it only for the money. As a result, he was tense while on the set, and did not have a good working relationship with Julia Roberts.[4][5] Roberts has, on her part, called Nolte the worst actor with whom she has ever worked.[6] She also has described him as "disgusting," whereas Nolte has said she's "not a nice person."[7][8]


The film grossed over $30 million in box-office receipts in the United States and less than $62 million worldwide.[9]

On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 22% rating based on 46 reviews. The site's consensus states: "There appears to be no Love lost between the fatally mismatched coupling of Julia Roberts and Nick Nolte in this screwball misfire that just isn't worth the Trouble."[10] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade B on scale of A to F.[11]

Todd McCarthy of Variety wrote: "The goings-on seem lacking in wit and inspiration, tolerably entertaining but far from effervescent."[12] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote: "Maybe it would have been funnier if the evil cow conglomerate had been replaced by something sillier and more lightweight; it's hard to sustain a romantic comedy in the face of death threats."[13]

Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times wrote that "it's a good thing I Love Trouble loves trouble, because trouble is just what it's in." He added:

Although Julia Roberts and Nick Nolte beaming out at the world from "Trouble" posters everywhere point to a light and frothy concoction, that's not what filmmaking team Nancy Meyers and Charles Shyer (she produces, he directs, they both write) have delivered. On screens instead is a stab at the kind of thriller/romance combination that Alfred Hitchcock turned out in treats like "North by Northwest."

But, instead of the charm and the suspense complementing each other in the classic manner, they drag each other down. The film's jeopardy sequences are ineffectual and cast a pall over the romantic comedy aspects, which are not especially entrancing despite the star power. Instead of synergy, what "Trouble" achieves is more like disappointment squared.

No one expects movies like this one, set as it is in the largely mythological world of fiercely competitive daily newspapering, to be realistic. But neither should they be as flaccid and unconvincing as what we are presented with here.[14]

A mildly positive review of the film was contributed by Caryn James of The New York Times, who told her readers, "don't go to I Love Trouble looking for realism. And don't even bother comparing it to the classic spar-until-they-fall-in-love movies of the 30's and 40's, even if this film begs an audience to make that self-defeating connection. I Love Trouble is breezy summer escapism, and taken on those light-spirited terms it is loaded with charm. Ms. Roberts has her best role since Pretty Woman, a part that plays up her unmistakable Audrey Hepburn allure. And Mr. Nolte shows a surprising flair for this kind of blithe comedy. They may not be the first couple that pops into mind to play gritty, love-resisting reporters, but they make the film an appealing, easy-to-take confection."[15]

Year-end lists[edit]


Elmer Bernstein originally wrote the underscore, but his music was thrown out, and David Newman was called in at such a late stage that posters with Bernstein's name on the credits were already displayed. With only two weeks to rescore the film, Newman - who usually orchestrates the bulk of his scores himself - used a small army of orchestrators to help him complete the score: Scott Smalley, Chris Boardman, William Kidd, Peter Tomashek, Steven Bramson, Christopher Klatman, Don Davis, Joel Rosenbaum, Arthur Kempel (misspelt "Kempl" in the end credits), Mark McKenzie, Brad Warnaar (misspelt "Warner" in the end credits), and John Neufeld. The soundtrack album was released by Varèse Sarabande, including a cover version of the Smokey Robinson song "You've Really Got a Hold on Me"; only Smalley and Boardman received orchestrator credit on the album (but Ross received an acknowledgement - as does Alan Silvestri, who was also attached to the project).

  1. Here's Peter (5:09)
  2. Here's Sabrina (1:54)
  3. Calling All Boggs (1:15)
  4. Honeymoon Night (4:55)
  5. Two Scoop Snoops (3:39)
  6. Everybody Buys the Globe (:46)
  7. Scoop de Jour (3:15)
  8. Sabrina's Hip (1:04)
  9. Wild Goose Chase (1:16)
  10. The Beekman Agreement (2:02)
  11. Keyhole Foreplay (1:20)
  12. Happily Ever After (2:21)
  13. "I Love Trouble" (3:43)
  14. You've Really Got a Hold on Me - Robbyn Kirmsse (3:37)


  1. ^ "A Squeeze Play Tags the Summer Box Office : A season of monumental successes--and flops--worries many executives that crowds are shunning mid-range films in favor of a few home-run hits". Los Angeles Times. Aug 2, 1994. Retrieved Jun 3, 2021.
  2. ^ "I Love Trouble (1994) - Financial Information". The Numbers.
  3. ^ "Nolte's in 'Trouble,' with Roberts". Variety. Retrieved July 21, 2021.
  4. ^ "'I Love Trouble' Doesn't Report Whole Story". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-06-02.
  5. ^ "Trouble on 'Trouble' Set? : Take your pick: (a) co-stars Julia Roberts and Nick Nolte got on each other's nerves; (b) the filmmakers got on their nerves; (c) snoopy questions are getting on everyone's nerves". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-06-02.
  6. ^ Nick Nolte - Biography TalkTalk
  7. ^ Brew, Simon (27 September 2013). "14 Co-stars Who Really Didn't Get Along". Dennis Publishing. Archived from the original on 7 June 2015. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
  8. ^ "Famous co-stars who absolutely hated each other". News.com.au. 4 November 2014. Archived from the original on 30 May 2015. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  9. ^ "I Love Trouble". Box Office Mojo.
  10. ^ "I Love Trouble (1994)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2020-10-10.
  11. ^ "I LOVE TROUBLE (1994) B". CinemaScore. Archived from the original on 2018-12-20.
  12. ^ McCarthy, Todd (27 June 1994). "I Love Trouble". Variety.
  13. ^ Ebert, Roger (June 29, 1994). "I Love Trouble movie review & film summary (1994)". Chicago Sun-Times.
  14. ^ "Movie Review : 'I Love Trouble'--Yes, Indeed : Nolte, Roberts and Newsprint. Light and Frothy It Isn't". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-06-02.
  15. ^ James, Caryn (29 June 1994). "FILM REVIEW: I Love Trouble; Nick Nolte and Julia Roberts As Crime-Fighting Rival Reporters". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-06-02.
  16. ^ Travers, Peter (December 29, 1994). "The Best and Worst Movies of 1994". Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
  17. ^ Elliott, David (December 25, 1994). "On the big screen, color it a satisfying time". The San Diego Union-Tribune (1, 2 ed.). p. E=8.
  18. ^ Lovell, Glenn (December 25, 1994). "The Past Picture Show the Good, the Bad and the Ugly -- a Year Worth's of Movie Memories". San Jose Mercury News (Morning Final ed.). p. 3.
  19. ^ Craft, Dan (December 30, 1994). "Success, Failure and a Lot of In-between; Movies '94". The Pantagraph. p. B1.
  20. ^ Ross, Bob (December 30, 1994). "Versed in the worst". The Tampa Tribune (Final ed.). p. 18.

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