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'Til There Was You

If we've learned anything from Meg Ryan's chick-flicks over the past several years, it's one thing to make a movie where people meet and fall in love — but what's really interesting are the stories concerning people who don't immediately meet (Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail), or don't immediately fall in love (When Harry Met Sally). It's undeniable: Love is boring, but kismet is cute. Such is the case in 'Til There Was You (1997), which concerns two people who don't meet for most of the film, and don't fall for each other during that time either. Jeanne Tripplehorn stars as Gwendolyn Moss, a hopeful romantic who grew up hearing tales of idyllic romance, which has only made her impatient for the story of her own life to happen. Conversely, Nicholas Daukantas (Dylan McDermott, of ABC-TV's "The Practice") grew up with quarreling parents and his family's ever-impending eviction from their apartment. Gwen and Nick don't know each other, and while they almost meet in grade school, in college, and even later, the capricious hand of fate gets in the way. As adults, Gwen is working as a ghostwriter while Nick is a successful architect. As luck would have it, Gwen is hired to write the biography of Nick's girlfriend, former child star Francesca Lanfield (Sarah Jessica Parker). What's more, the courtyard apartment complex Gwen recently moved into is slated for demolition, to be replaced by a new building designed by Nick. Gwen hopes to stop the demolition and even joins a campaign to save the building, which gets Nick's attention. And they still have not met. Can the building be saved? Will they fall in love? And really, how many cats can a single woman own before she's officially a doddering old spinster? If you're not a fan of the girly films, you probably can give 'Til There Was You and its love-conquers-all love story a miss. And even those who are genre fans might find certain parts of the film difficult to get through, in particular the notion that people are flat-out fated to be together. But it's certainly not the worst romantic comedy to be made — both McDermott and Tripplehorn are charming, believable leads, while Parker has a smart turn in her supporting role. Paramount's DVD release of 'Til There Was You features a clean anamorphic transfer (1.85:1) with audio in Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby 2.0 Surround, and monaural French. Theatrical trailer, keep-case.

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