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Film / The Thing Called Love

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"Look out, Music City, 'cause here I am and I ain't never leavin'!"
Miranda Presley

In Nashville, 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.

A 1993 dramedy film directed by Peter Bogdanovich, featuring plenty of Country Music and a cast of actors at the beginning or end 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:

  • 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.
  • Cock Fight: Kyle and James have a brief one over Miranda.
  • 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.
  • I Am Not My Father: James is afraid of unintentionally becoming the same bad person his father was.
  • The Insomniac: Miranda, to the point of it seriously impeding her relationship with 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 and 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.
  • 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."


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