(Review originally written at 6 August 2010)

Basically this movie is being like lots of other romantic movies from the '50's and earlier on but with as a difference that it takes a different angle on the story. You could say that the male and female characters switched roles in this and it's about someone wanting to marry someone down her class rather that up her class. It are things like this that make "All That Heaven Allows" an original movie to watch, despite the fact that nothing in it really happens as a big surprise.

Saying that its not very surprises doesn't mean that the movie is an ineffective one. It's a movie that does work out very well, due to its different approach and story but also due to its sincerity. It doesn't all feel too melodramatic and the characters are all ones that are not without their human flaws. It makes some of them likable, or at least recognizable. It's just easier to identify yourself with these people than with a couple of teens that are in the prime of their lives and look perfect in basically every way. In this movie the couple is not such a likely one actually, since the woman is not only older she also is a upper class member, while the man is a simple gardener. Yet the love between them feels sincere and you actually never think about their age different or the difference in class but the people around them do. This is were the movie its 'conflict' enters. The woman must choose between her safe and secure life as a respected woman, with friends in the right circles and a loving family around her or the love of a man that has not much to offer and will make her friends and family look down at her once she will marry him. This in a nutshell is its story and it's a story that simply does work out well within the movie.

It definitely helps the movie and its story that the characters are not perfect ones and they are also not perfect looking ones, though Rock Hudson was still an heartthrob at the time, years before the world knew that he was actually an homosexual. Something that just wasn't accepted at all in Hollywood at the time and he actually was married to a woman at the time, to keep up appearances. Quite sad but apparently also really necessary at the time. Makes you wonder if he would had still gotten this leading type of roles in this kind of movies if he was openly homosexual. Probably not. Luckily a lot has changed over the years, even in Hollywood.

The movie is an absolute charming looking one. It's funny how these early color movies are way more colorful looking then movies now days. It really gives the movie some charm and warmth. It's simply a great looking one, that got well directed by Douglas Sirk, who besides the visuals also had an obvious eye for its actors, characters and story. It's simply a greatly done film.

A movie without any real surprises but still one that is greatly original with its approach and has a great story and charm in it as well.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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