Zack and Claire love Rupert Brooke, Gilbert & Sullivan, and each other. Till one day Zack meets Bart. Arthur Love Story Hiller, it seems, is a director possessed of what the French call a thématique. Note the subtle cultural references, substituting for the earlier film's Mozart and the Beatles, as well as the abiding interest in incurable conditions, whether leukaemia or, as here, homosexuality. Luckily, his hapless protagonists are deeply caring souls: Zack finds eventual fulfilment with a handsome, sensitive hunk; Bart, a novelist of the runny softboiled school, will write a sensitive bestseller about the affair; while Claire manages to land an overwhelmingly sensitive second husband (and even christens their son Rupert). This is a three-handkerchief movie, all right, but for the nose. It stinks.
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