Film: The Thing Called Love
Look out Music City, cause here I am and I ain't never leavin'!
— Miranda Presley
, there are 10,000 singer-songwriters chasing success ... with one chance in a million of getting it. For Miranda Presley (Samantha Mathis), that's one chance worth taking. Fresh from New York City, Miranda befriends three fellow hopefuls: shy Connecticut cowboy Kyle Davidson (Dermot Mulroney), Southern Belle
Linda Lue Linden (Sandra Bullock
), and James Wright (River Phoenix
), a cocky Texan with brooding good looks and a honeyed voice. Together they begin a rocky ride down Music City's well-worn highway, finding hope, heartbreak, happiness ... and The Thing Called Love
1993 movie featuring plenty of Country Music
and a cast of actors at the beginning
of their career. There's a well-made DVD out there that has an audio commentary
and several nice extras including a particularly tear-jerking
one called "Our Friend River".
Tropes featured in this film:
- Awesome Mc Cool Name: Linda Lou Linden. And Miranda Presley.
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Miranda and James, resulting in quite a bit of Slap-Slap-Kiss.
- Beta Couple: Linda and Billy.
- Betty and Veronica: Kyle is the Betty, James is the Veronica.
- Beware the Nice Ones:
Miranda: You're always asking everyone else what they think.
Linda: That's right. And you know what? I'm not going to do it anymore. If I don't feel like bein' nice to somebody, I'm just goin' to be mean ... or at least impolite.
- Break the Haughty: Happens to both James and Miranda.
- Butt Monkey: Billy, Linda's would-be boyfriend.
- Cock Fight: Kyle and James have a brief one over Miranda.
- Convenient Slow Dance
- Crash-Into Hello: James and Miranda meet for the first time on the parking lot of the Bluebird Café, both late for the audition that takes place there. James then proceeds to involve Miranda in a scheme attempting to get in.
- Daddy's Girl: Miranda. James calls her out on it.
- Deceased Parents Are the Best: Miranda lost her father prior to the beginning of the movie, and just can't stop thinking about him.
- Did Not Get the Girl: Kyle.
- The Ditherer: Linda can't decide between becoming a singer, a beauty contestant, or an actress.
- Failed Audition Plot: The movie starts as this for Miranda, but soon turns into more of a romance plot.
- Four Philosophy Ensemble:
- Fourth Date Marriage: Quite literally.
- Gilligan Cut: Miranda really doesn't want to have the waitress job. The next time we see her, she's indeed waiting tables.
- Give Me a Reason: James provokes Kyle about getting the girl.
- Hidden Depths: Linda has some.
Linda: You know, sometimes people aren't exactly the person you might think they are when you first meet someone.
- Hot-Blooded: Miranda.
- I Am Not My Father: James is afraid of unintentionally becoming the same bad person his father was.
- Invisible Advertising: Paramount only distributed the film in the South and left it for dead in a crowded summer as they felt that the film had very limited appeal outside of country music fans. When the director found out about this, he was not pleased (as he felt it was one of his better films). Eventually, the film was re-marketed as an art film after River Phoenix's death in some markets but audiences still didn't show.
- The Insomniac: Miranda, to the point of it seriously impeding her relationship with James.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: James.
- Last Minute Hookup: James and Miranda make up during the last couple of minutes of the film.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: There's a display board titled "Weeklyrates new pool" in the street outside the Drakes Hotel (where Miranda und Linda stay) which comments on plot developments in the form of song lines.
- Let's Duet: Miranda and James, "Blame It On Your Heart."
- Like an Old Married Couple:
James: It seems as though you've made a cheque out for "selfish, arrogant dickhead."
Miranda: Yeah, they'll cash it. They know it's you.
- Subverted in that they're actually married by this point. Though not for a very long time.
- Love Will Lead You Back
- My Beloved Smother: Linda Lou's mother shows traits of this.
- Naïve Newcomer: Miranda, at first.
- Name's the Same: Miranda insists her last name bears no relation to that other Presley.
- Actually Presley is her middle name. Her father was an Elvis fan.
- Nice Guy: Kyle.
- Oh, Crap: When Kyle falls off a horse and has to be taken to the hospital. And again when he falls off a railway bridge.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Linda is a particularly cute version.
- Rule of Fun: The record company where Miranda tries to land a deal is simply called "The Famous Music Publishing Companies."
- "Shut Up" Kiss
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Interestingly, Miranda can't decide between this and All Girls Want Bad Boys for a long while.
- Skyward Scream: See the title quote. Done from the roof of a skyscraper.
- Stepford Smiler: Linda, very much so.
- Surprisingly Happy Ending: Miranda, James and Kyle make up and drive away together, planning their future in an And the Adventure Continues manner.
- Tall, Dark and Snarky: James.
- They Do
- Three Chords and the Truth
- Tsundere: Miranda.
- Wacky Marriage Proposal: It features a plastic ring and takes place in a supermarket.
- What Could Have Been: Linda Lou apparently had a thing for Kyle — who never realized. She tells him about it on their departure.
Linda: You know, there's something that you never understood about me ... You could have had me for a song.