Picks and Pans Review: Mad Love
Barrymore and O'Donnell are a couple of high school kids in love. They rock out at concerts, smooch beside waterfalls—and run away together after her parents check her into a psychiatric hospital for trying to kill herself. A pretty simple story line, no?
Yet Mad Love is a mess from which no one, not Barrymore, not the ever-cuter O'Donnell nor director Antonia Bird (Priest) emerges with any glory. Buried deep in here is a story about what happens when a young guy realizes that the girl he's in love with is seriously nuts. But what is onscreen most of the time is a seemingly madcap adventure about two teens on the run. Barrymore plays her character as if she were Holly Golightly gone punk. This is not as interesting as it sounds. O'Donnell is earnest, but he cannot work miracles with his unplayable scenes.
Once the two hit the road, Mad Love loses it completely. If these two are so broke, for example, why do they pay what must be $100 or more for scores of plump candles to add a romantic glow to their rented room? And when, pray tell, did O'Donnell find time to pack the telescope he later pawns? If a movie is at all involving, such inconsistencies don't gnaw at you until later, if at all. (PG-13)