A young lady has a romantic fling in Florence, returns home to become engaged, and is conflicted when her fling comes back into her life.
A Room with a View (1985)
Directed by James Ivory
Written by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
Starring Helena Bonham Carter, Maggie Smith, Denholm Elliott, Julian Sands, Daniel Day-Lewis, Simon Callow, Rosemary Leach, Fabia Drake, Joan Henley, Judi Dench
Based on the novel by E.M. Forster
Oscar Wins - Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Art Direction,
Best Costume Design
Oscar Nominations - Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor
(Denholm Elliott), Best Supporting Actress (Maggie Smith),
Best Director, Best Cinematography
The combination of James Ivory and E.M. Forster just doesn't do it for me. After watching Howards End some time ago and A Room with a View now, that's what I've come to realize. The petty squabbles of arrogant, rich, white English people with sticks up their asses just don't matter to me in the slightest. More so, I find it irritating. The characters are all so alike one another that nobody stands out, apart from Daniel Day-Lewis because he simply can't help it. The story is so nonsensical and easily solved in less than five minutes if these insufferable people would just communicate like civilized people instead of internalizing literally every little microaggression. But I digress.
Lucy Honeychurch (Carter) is a sexually repressed young woman who is on a trip to Florence with her annoying, busybody aunt Charlotte (Smith). Right off the bat, they complain that their room doesn't have a view. When the kind Mr. Emerson (Elliott) and his son George (Sands) offer to switch rooms with no hassle, Charlotte is (for some reason) offended and taken aback that they would even ask. This takes up a good fifteen minutes and should prepare you for the pettiness that's to come. Long story short, Lucy makes out with George, Charlotte catches them and scolds Lucy, Lucy goes back to England and becomes engaged to Cecil (Day-Lewis), a smug little worm. Then, Emerson and George rent a cottage nearby, George confesses his love for Lucy, Lucy loves him but must remain proper, she breaks off her engagement, and marries George anyway. Pretty predictable, but remarkably boring nonetheless.
If you want rich English people dealing with romantic feelings in the most unhealthiest of ways, I recommend you just go and reread Jane Austen. These movies are simply the worst. Every time I tackle an Oscar year for Best Picture, it feels like there's always at least one. Each time I watch one, I hope it's the last of them so I can avoid them forever. Alas, not quite yet.