Best movie of this year hands down!
It's funny, it's tense, it features two great performances from two actors and the director expertly creates a web of odd tension where you actually don't know what is happening for the majority of the run time.
The film never slows down or bores, plunging from one harrowing sequence to the next.
Each character in this movie — down to the smallest one — is an individual rather than a type, prone to spontaneous changes of mood and sometimes amusing outbursts of pettiness or ill humor.
"Sea of Love" has its strengths, but (and this is almost painful to say) thriller isn't its one of them. It starts out strongly enough, but the relationship between Al Pacino and Ellen Barkin is more frustrating than exciting. Obviously, the reason to see this movie is Barkin, who just smolders . That, and the camaraderie that Pacino shares with John Goodman. I liked that partnership, as well as these characters. And I can't even complain about the ending, but the road thereto isn't very smooth.6/10
I chased down this movie for a while and it did not disappoint me. I truly enjoyed it because it brought Al "The King" Pacino back into business and mainly because it is a damn good Cop-Thriller flick. More in the likes of "Tightrope" (1984), we have the basic plot of a serial-killer on the loose being chased by a Detective who might get in the middle of the killer's motives when he starts an intense romance with a femme fatale. The events are interesting and the suspense although it is not high, it delivers, and it is aided by splendid humor contributed by the on-screen duo conformed by Pacino and John Goodman; you know, the typical cop buddies. I really liked the plot and the whole serial killer situation, but what really got into me was the fascinating sexual magnetism between Pacino and Ellen Barkin, who might not be "very pretty" for Hollywood's standards, but she is very attractive and unlikely sexy. The soundtrack is equally good with a highlight by Tom Waits. Check this underrated Thriller gem and enjoy Pacino at his best.
A man who is starting to feel the pangs of lonely life, late at night he can't stop himself from phoning to an ex-wife that walked out on him. A series of crimes around the city where men turn up dead, lonely men seeking women late at night. He investigates, by posing as one of them, until he meets her.The middle portion revolves around these two selves in him trying to decide on the narrative; the lonely guy who's finally found her versus the cop whose job is to suspect her, even if that means she's the killer that he has to bring in. He settles for the latter, until a horrible version of himself is spat out by the story in the end, a man broken after his wife walked out on him. He gets to wrestle this uglier side of himself and come out on the other end for her purged of demons.That's all fine but it labors itself by trying to be one of those "character studies" that Methodist actors seem to gravitate to, Pacino here. A lot of them were being made in the 70s but they carried on, minus the young passion. So a lot of protracted scenes between characters, the thought is that just by seeing them together in scenes, we get "life". We don't of course, we get scenes. It's all a bit like Pacino's acting; aimless lumbering with the occasional bug-eyed frisson, but never amounts to more than pacing through motions. There are a few moments that suggest deeper undercurrents - the slumped look on the middle-aged blonde's face as she walks out the restaurant with a defeated soul - how Elen eerily manifests out of a dark hallway - and my favorite moment, the poem his father recites about someone who is living alone in the woods. It's so good, the poem and timing of delivery, it surpasses the whole film.Noir Meter: 1/4
New York City police set up a fake "Meet the Yankees" breakfast with invitations to entrap hard-to-catch criminals. Frank Keller (Al Pacino) rises to the stage and tells the bad news that instead of the Yankees showing up, there will be plenty of cops and arrests. Apprehended is Samuel L. Jackson, one of the bad guys. We do not see him any more as this is early in his career. So begins "Sea of Love."Three men are individually shot to death after being forced to lay face down solo in bed butt-naked while listening to the 1959 oldie "Sea of Love." As the clues include lipstick-smeared cigarettes and classified newspaper ads for companionship, police suspicions fall onto a female character. The police have noted that all three of the deceased men have answered the only three rhythmic newspaper dating ads. Middle-aged, depressed, and hard-drinking detective Frank Keller, a veteran NYC cop of twenty years, is divorced and lonely. His ex-wife has left him for a fellow policeman. Keller teams up with Detective Sherman (John Goodman) from Queens to track down the serial killer. The colleagues convince their superior (John Spencer), a lieutenant, of their plan to go undercover and place a lonely-hearts want ad that rhymes in the local newspaper. The arrangement is to meet the women in a busy restaurant and take finger prints from their drinking glasses. They take turns posing as waiters. Over time, Keller falls hard for tight-skirted suspect Helen Cruger (Ellen Barkin) and they develop a serious relationship against Frank's better sense of judgment. Frank is relieved when he later discovers that Helen has no prior record. But the relationship turns tempestuous after Keller admits that he is a cop.One night at Helen's apartment Frank spots newspaper clippings on the refrigerator with the personal ads of the three dead men circled. Now Frank feels that Helen may be the murderess after all. During the next tryst at Frank's apartment, Helen plays her 45-record "Sea of Love." Frank of course freaks out (hilariously), and after a confrontation with Helen she storms out. At the denouement a different character enters the scenario, one whom we met very briefly early on. So the ending does come as a surprise albeit there were a couple of isolated clues along the way. "Sea of Love" features enchanting character development, atmosphere, and story-line, although New York City locations are not used to good advantage. The morals of the movie are dubious at best. Nevertheless Al Pacino is almost always great, and one wonders how he had never won an Academy Award for Best Actor until 1993 (for 1992's "Scent of a Woman"). His performances in such films as "The Godfather" (1972), "Serpico" (1973), and "Dog Day Afternoon" (1975) were nothing short of dazzling. In "Sea of Love" John Goodman and Ellen Barkin act well too. Pacino's chemistry with Barkin is fantastic, and askance-looking Barkin simply exudes raw sexuality that lights up the silver screen in probably her best role. Did she really need to comb the personals? Hey, we're talking Hollywood, so what did you expect?