A Room With a View

Director: James Ivory
Year Released: 1986
Rating: 2.5

Not quite as pretentious as some of the other Merchant-Ivory concoctions but still nothing remarkable either, this is an adaptation of the E.M. Forster novel about a young British woman (Helena Bonham Carter) who emotionally matures when she falls for a young British man (Julian Sands) in Italy while on tour of the country. But when you look at the film as a whole, it's rather familiar territory: boy falls for girl, girl is engaged to someone else (a completely miscast and campy Daniel Day Lewis, playing the intellectual dandy), but still carries feelings for original boy. In the end (surprise!), they fall in love. There are some charming moments spread throughout (and some not-so-charming, such as an unnecessary homoerotic bath scene with two nude men and a priest) to try to mask the sheer ordinariness of the story - which is meandering, slow and mostly uneventful - and it comes somewhat close to being recommendable on the basis of the performances (particularly Bonham Carter) and the sets and costumes.