Director: James Lapine
Year Released: 1991
Structurally and dramatically, Impromptu is all over the map - once you get past the fact that the actors in the picture are playing real people (novelist George Sand, pianist Chopin, etc.), which is its "gimmick," interest levels tail off. It's essentially in two parts: part one is devoted to a "house party" put on by patrons of the arts (the wife is played spectacularly by Emma Thompson, who steals what show there is), part two is to George Sand (Judy Davis, cold) seducing (and succeeding, unrealistically) prudish Fredrik Chopin (Hugh Grant, dull). Part one has little to do with part two, aside from introducing the characters (most of whom Lapine does nothing with - Liszt, played by Julian Sands - is only sporadically tossed into the fray) and giving a taste of Sand's lust for Chopin, whose music she is in love with (Chopin originally rebuffs and wants nothing to do with Sand the non-conformist until the film winds down and Chopin suddenly breaks down ... inexplicably). Since you are never emotionally invested in the characters you really don't care what happens to them, and the film's indifferent tone alienates its audience.