Intersection (1994)


(director: Mark Rydell; screenwriters: David Rayfiel/Marshall Brickman/based on the film Les Choses de la Vie by Claude Sautet/from the novel Les Choses de la Vie by Paul Guimard; cinematographer: Vilmos Zsigmond; editor: Mark Warner; music: James Newton Howard; cast: Richard Gere (Vincent Eastman), Sharon Stone (Sally Eastman), Lolita Davidovich (Olivia Marshak), Jennifer Morrison (Meaghan Eastman), Martin Landau (Neal); Runtime: 98; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Bud Yorkin/Mark Rydell; Paramount Pictures; 1994)


Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Intersection is a remake of Claude Sautet’s arty French film Les Choses de la Vie. Mark Rydell (“On Golden Pond”) flawlessly directs a romantic melodrama that unfolds in flashback and is based on the novel Les Choses de la Vie by Paul Guimard. But it is written without depth of character by David Rayfiel and Marshall Brickman.

Successful architect Vincent Eastman (Richard Gere) is speeding along in his sports car over a rain-slicked mountain road in Canada when, while swerving to avoid a stalled van, he discovers a trailer truck in front of him. As he’s about to go over a cliff, Vincent finds himself flashing back on the events of his life — pondering his relationships with his talented and rational but cold wife of 16 years Sally (Sharon Stone) whom he works with and his wildly passionate mistress Olivia (Lolita Davidovich) whom he lives with, unable to make a commitment to either. There’s also his daughter Meaghan (Jenny Morrison), whom Vincent willingly gives his unconditional love to.

Vincent’s mid-life crisis leaves him vacillating between the familiar pleasures still found in maintaining a loveless marriage and a hot mistress that turns him on in bed and with her spontaneity. The drama involves seeing Vincent search deep inside for the answers to his problems and the reasons for his indecisiveness. His close friend and partner in his architectural firm, Neal (Martin Landau), warns him that it is not right for a man to live such an amoral life, especially if there are children involved.

The soap opera melodrama builds to the final act and Gere’s big decision, which is cleverly conceived but nevertheless the narrative remains inane. The characters in the love triangle never reached my heart, as their actions seemed to be dictated by plot devices rather than through their characterizations.