Love Affair

  • Dir: Leo McCarey

  • USA, 1939, English, 89mins, DCP

  • Cast: Irene Dunne, Charles Boyer, Maria Ouspenskaya

An everlasting romance dear to Leo McCarey’s heart, where comedy and pathos collide, but faith ultimately triumphs. On a transatlantic voyage, Michel, a committed playboy, meets the beautiful, but also betrothed, Terry. The immediate attraction develops into a genuine affection beyond their expectation. The lovers promise to meet again at the Empire State Building, but only one shows up… McCarey’s essential treatment of gesture and movement in the classic 4:3 framing brings the lovers together in a space where sensuality is heightened by its very tension, and is intensified by Boyer’s continental sensibility coupled with Dunne’s enduring tenderness. What was ‘the nearest thing to Heaven’? The answer lies in an ironic ecstasy emblematic of McCarey’s optimism in the face of impossible circumstances.