Arie Posen and Matthew McDuffie garnered some big names to play key roles in their tale of tragic love lost and yet, maybe not, in their latest film – THE FACE OF LOVE.

On a holiday in Mexico, Garrett (Ed Harris) and Nikki (Annette Bening) are celebrating their anniversary, and their love for life and one another.   When tragedy strikes and Garrett is killed, Nikki heads back home to pine away, not knowing how she is going to come to grips with her loss.

Destined to never move forward with her life, her neighbor and fellow widower Roger (Robin Williams), seems to be keeping an eye on Nikki, as he too tries to move on from the loss of his wife Susan. Nikki frequents places which she and Garrett would always find time to visit, including the Art Museum, when one day, as she is admiring the paintings, she seems to see Garrett reappear as if out of thin air.

As Nikki tries to come to terms with seeing her dead husband reappear, she decides to semi-stalk this man until she finds out his true identity.   Feeling as if she has been given a second chance to love the man she has always loved, Nikki finds that Tom is an Art Instructor at the local college, and decides to ask him to give her lessons.  As the two of them become acquainted, Nikki decides to keep her new relationship under wraps, as to not freak out her daughter (played by Jess Wexler) or her neighbor Roger, who just happens to be Garrett’s best friend.

Will Nikki fall even more in love with Tom than she was with Garrett?  Will Nikki ever reveal to Tom that she is so drawn to him because he is the spitting image of her dead husband?  And will Roger attempt to become more than a friend to Nikki, as he too is trying to move on with his own life?

I give THE FACE OF LOVE a C – I was extremely excited to see these three mature actors back on the big screen, yet, from the get go, I was wondering how the storyline of dating someone who looks like your dead husband actually plays out.  Both Bening and Harris were enjoyable to watch, and you could feel a sense of chemistry between them on screen, but poor Williams got just morsels to work with for his part, which made me kind of sad.  His true acting genius hasn’t been exposed for too long, as he has been cast in too many mediocre roles over the last few years.   The story itself became slightly intriguing at times, but by the end of the film, what seemed to be a harmless relationship that came about due to Nikki’s inability to tell Tom the truth, began to approach the arena of full blown mental illness, or that she was a woman who was thriving on deception, either way it wasn’t working for me.    All I can say is that I didn’t love it, but I didn’t really hate it either……. so for me, it was just mediocre.

Kathy Kaiser

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