Feast of Love
Why yes, I’d love a ride.

Theatrical Release Date: 09/28/2007
Director: Robert Benton
Cast: Greg Kinnear, Morgan Freeman, Radha Mitchell, Alexa Davalos, Selma Blair

Making a minor blip on critics’ radar screens back when it was originally released, “Feast of Love” is that trickiest of marketing dilemmas. it has notable actors like Greg Kinnear and Morgan Freeman. However, its premise is an attempt at weaving the lives of a group of people diverse in every major way – be it gender, race, socio-economic status and/or sexual orientation.

Trying to tackle these broad-scope types of films often make it difficult for an audience to find it. Such was the case with “Feast of Love” and it faded into obscurity rather quickly, only to resurface on my DVD queue.

If done right, I really enjoy these films, as often their portrayals of the hardships and struggles endemic to real relationships can be explored. However, as presented here, very little of the film scratches the surface of any true emotional depths.

But like so many films that attempt an ensemble piece with numerous story lines, my biggest disappointment is with the main story. Greg Kinnear, Radha Mitchell and Selma Blair play that cliché dynamic so prevalent in “independent” film (where Blair plays Kinnear’s wife who leaves him for another woman) and it’s barely necessary to see where it goes. If you’ve seen any film in this genre, you’ll see all of their story coming from a mile away.

On the positive side, the subplots are far more engaging and help to buoy the film. The plot revolving around Alexa Davalos and Morgan Freeman, especially, pulled at what’s left of my heartstrings. Their father/daughter-esque relationship exemplifies the love two people can have for one another via shared anguish and a need to feel like they’re a part of something.

As far as acting goes, everyone does an okay job. No one stands out like too much of a sore thumb, though Kinnear can go either way with me sometimes. Even Freeman doesn’t do anything particularly amazing here because we’ve seen this role from him before in much better films.

I do give the film credit for not avoiding tragedy, like so many films do once a negative comment comes floating in from a test screening (When did the process of creating art begin the process of creating safe, money-making schlock? Don’t blame the 80s!).

Still, overall the picture meanders more than it develops and I’m going to give “Feast of Love” a 3 out of 5. If you’re looking for a competent ensemble relationship drama with a touch of tragedy, this will probably work for you. Otherwise, it’s not … obviously.