McDermott is the kind of man who makes ladies' hearts beat a little faster, but he has always had trouble finding the role that is going to put him over the top. "Home for the Holidays" and "Miracle on 34th Street" did little to enhance his romantic-leading-man image. "In the Line of Fire" and "Cowboy Way" paid the bills but didn't help his career. Currently he stars on ABC's lawyer drama "The Practice", which may garner him the following he deserves. While his performance in "Til There Was You" is solid, it isn't going to put him in the winner's circle yet. But that doesn't mean I'm not going to keep watching this gorgeous guy.
On the other hand, this role does show a side of Jeanne Tripplehorn that enhances her marketability. Known mostly for looking great in "Waterworld" and "The Firm", she gets a chance to fight it out with a restaurant, The Awful Truth. It is one of those hi-tech places with odd angles of aluminum and steel, the sort of place no one can feel truly comfortable in. Tripplehorn swears she'll never return to it, but keeps coming back for more punishment. Of course, it is McDermott's character who designed the place that she can't abide.
If the film has a familiar feel to it, look to the director Scott
Winant, who acknowledges the Frank Capra influence. This is his
feature directorial debut, but he earned producing raves with his TV
ground-breakers "thirtysomething" and "My So-Called Life". Winant
and writer Winnie Holzman have grasped the big difference between TV
and movies: TV is about characters who remain the same while movies
are about change. As McDermott and Tripplehorn grow, they become the
people they need to be. That is what makes "Til There Was You" work.
Rated PG-13 Paramount
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