The Thing Called Love
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|The Thing Called Love|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Peter Bogdanovich|
|Produced by||John Davis|
|Written by||Carol Heikkinen|
|Music by||G. Marq Roswell|
|Edited by||Terry Stokes|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
120 minutes (director's cut)
|Box office||$1 million (US)|
The Thing Called Love is a 1993 American comedy-drama film directed by Peter Bogdanovich and starring Samantha Mathis, River Phoenix, Dermot Mulroney and Sandra Bullock. While the film involves a love triangle and various complications in Miranda's route to success, it provides a sweetened glimpse at the lives of aspiring songwriters in Nashville. Its tagline is: "Stand by your dream".
The film was Phoenix's final complete screen performance before his death.
Miranda Presley is an aspiring singer/songwriter from New York City who loves country music and decides to take her chances in Nashville, Tennessee, where she hopes to become a star. After arriving in Music City after a long bus ride, Miranda makes her way to the Bluebird Cafe, a local watering hole with a reputation as a showcase for new talent. The bar's owner, Lucy, takes a shine to the plucky newcomer and gives her a job as a waitress.
Before long, Miranda has gotten to know a number of other Nashville transplants who are looking to land a gig or sell a song, including sweet and open-hearted Kyle Davidson, moody but talented James Wright, and spunky Linda Lue Linden. As the four friends struggle to find their place in the competitive Nashville music scene, both Kyle and James display a romantic interest in Miranda, but she is drawn to James in spite of his moody temperament. Miranda pursues James, and they end up getting married, but they soon realize marriage takes work. James leaves Miranda behind to make his album, what he always wanted to do, but realizes he left his heart with her. He comes back to the Bluebird Cafe but discovers that Miranda has left town. Miranda returns and sings a new song, before tentatively reuniting with James. Kyle joins them as Linda Lue leaves for New York, and the remaining three discuss writing a song together.
- River Phoenix as James Wright
- Samantha Mathis as Miranda Presley
- Dermot Mulroney as Kyle Davidson
- Sandra Bullock as Linda Lue Linden
- K. T. Oslin as Lucy
- Anthony Clark as Billy
- Webb Wilder as Ned
- Deborah Allen as herself
- Jo-El Sonnier as himself
- Pam Tillis as herself
- Vern Monnett as himself
- Kevin Welch as himself
- Trisha Yearwood as herself
- Carol Grace Anderson as Diner Waitress
- Garth Shaw as Diner Patron
- Jimmie Dale Gilmore as himself
The film received mixed reviews from critics, as it currently holds a 57% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 21 reviews. From box office sales, the film failed to make a profit and the return on capital employed was considerably negative. VHS and later DVD sales failed to have an impact as well.