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De-Lovely in our magazines

THE MOVIE: De-Lovely

Kevin Kline • Ashley Judd
DIRECTOR: Irwin Winkler

Ashley Judd and Kevin Kline THE CONCEPT:
Biopic of composer Cole Porter (Kline) and his marriage to socialite Linda Porter (Judd), which survived 38 years despite the fact that he engaged in blatant homosexual relationships.

U.S. RELEASE: July 2 2004, Limited • Rated: PG-13


“This is a very interesting personal story about a gay man who has a successful marriage with a woman for 38 years, until she basically dies. They had this great bond. We have Alanis Morissette singing and dancing to Let’s Fall in Love, and I had the choreographer do it where by the end of the number there were men dancing with men and women dancing with women. I think Cole Porter thought that there should be no restrictions to the kind of love – that’s the way he lived his life.”

KEVIN KLINE on what surprised him about Porter:
“I suppose his voracious appetite for pleasures of the flesh. The way he loved and was endlessly curious about things aesthetic, gastronomic, smoking, drinking, ballet, music, art, beautiful men, beautiful women, and his passion for music.”

“It’s an unconventional, but devastating love story. She was a lot richer than he was, but I think he loved her authentically for who she was, and as important as sex is, it doesn’t have to be the cornerstone of every enduring human relationship.”

: “We were in the recording studio in New York when Kevin said he wanted to sing the songs live on screen. He was recording in a glass booth with this microphone stuck in his face, and he didn’t look very comfortable. He walked out of the booth and said, ‘I can’t do this. I’ve got to do it on the set live.’”

”When I realized I didn’t want to prerecord the songs and lip sync was when we made the movie of Pirates of Penzance, which was agony. I’ve talked to musicians and singers who say Cole Porter’s music and lyrics are much more challenging than they appear.”

: “When I told Ashley, ‘We want you to sing a couple of songs here,’ she was not very anxious to do that, because she didn’t want to compete with her family. I don’t think she considers herself a singer at all.”

: “I wasn’t smart enough to have any apprehension about it at first. I had a healthy enough ego to think that I could have done a very reasonable if not good job, and on the day it ended up being a real crisis of confidence for me. My knees were knocking. I should have [gone to my sister] for help.”

“To me this movie is a disquisition, an investigation, a meditation of the nature of love. It does ask the question What is this Thing Called Love? It breaks the convention of the sexually-driven passion between the two dramatic protagonists in the Hollywood movie, because they don’t have sex. There are many kinds of love, and I think that’s what the movie is interested in exploring.”

“Working with Kevin was great. He is so funny. I would look pretty, and he’d go [as Cole Porter], ‘I’m gay!’ He was just a delight to be around.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Film Review, #646, July 2004 cover

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