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  • I've read reviews and articles from its day dismissing this moving as a waster of two major talents. Now, with the benefit of hindsight, all of those comments appear short sighted if not just inaccurate. True, the film is an "hommage" to David Lean's "Brief Encounter" and I don't think anybody can deny that. The word "hommage" may be arguable but the concept isn't it. Streep is a feast to the eyes and ears. She was then and she is now. She constructs something memorable out something quite ordinary. De Niro falls into place but it's hard to divorce him from his well established film persona. Is this Travis? So clean? I fell into their Brief Encounter situation head on and enjoyed it thoroughly. In particular the first 45 minutes when their lives are starting to connect but before the actual connection. My favorite part? Meryl for the first time waiting for him in the train, looking out of the window to catch a glimpse. The juxtaposition of her thoughts it's dizzying, wonderful and worth the entire film.
  • I'll write more when I have more time. For now, after having read Mr. Maltin's brief critique of this film ("dull script"), I must say that I couldn't disagree more. This is a superb, quiet little gem. It's very realistic, and I bet it fared much better in Europe than here in the States. It's a portrait of two married people who happen to run into each other one day while Christmas shopping, and then again a few months later on the train. As they take the same route most days every week, they begin to strike up a friendship that eventually deepens. Watching both DeNiro's and Streep's expressions alone, in long moments of no dialog, are worth the price of the rental, or the time to watch it on cable. And, the film is a bit suspenseful because you think that there might be a chance that the ending might go the other way; but, I don't want to give too much away. However, it is a Hollywood picture. So, enough said.

    At any rate, I just love films that take place in New York but that aren't completely violent (with the exception of anything Scorsese directs) or show some of its worst parts. This is a pleasant, quiet, sweet, rather serious, and sometimes sad film that paints a very realistic portrait of marriage and infidelity. It's worth watching for these two acting Goliaths alone.
  • This is my favourite DeNiro movie and one of Meryl Streep's many great roles (but don't miss The Hours, The Bridges of Madison County and Out of Africa!). Meryl Streep can, better than most, carry a slow movie built almost entirely on moods and quiet thinking.

    Still, Falling in Love could never have been what it is without all the excellent supporting actors. The way it paints the image of two very different marriages slowly falling apart without the participants really understanding what is happening is compelling, and the movie, while not exactly complex or deep, doesn't ever take the easy way out. Instead it relies completely on the talents of all the actors, to tell a realistic story of what can and does happen in real life.

    The music is also excellent and at times it stands for a significant part of the movie's language.

    But don't bother if you're prejudiced against romantic drama.
  • The script and plot to this movie is simple, but oh so recognizable. Robert DeNiro and Meryl Streep: These two amazing actors - whose appearance on screen together is absolutely magical - make of this movie a very sweet and subdued production. The plot is simple: two people who don't intend to, get themselves in a situation, both not knowing what to do with: they're shy, not at ease and in love. See it. It will get romance out of your little toe. 8 out of 10
  • Absolutely brilliant acting on the part of the main protagonists, Streep and de Niro. I don't believe for one single moment you can find love by taking the train - I have been travelling daily for years on public transport and have never encountered anything remotely resembling what happens in the film - but films ARE made to make us dream and this film certainly does. Why, pray, if you want daily reality, then you watch a documentary.

    These two characters and the actors that portray them are ideally suited to the script and film. They're both pretty reserved, shy and respect the contract of marriage, but something inexorably brings them together. You watch, thinking "this cannot last" but somehow it does. One or other of the characters takes the right initiative at the right moment. Truly unbelievable when you look at stark reality but oh boy is it fun to watch on the screen.

    The same story played out by ordinary actors would be a total flop, but with Streep and De Niro, success is guaranteed right the way thru ! A must for all those who have never found true love but secretly harbour the hope of finding it one day .....................
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Love is more than an emotion... It's above all, the substance of our being, the gift of oneself...

    We all want to fall in love… We all want to be caught up out of our ordinary life… Maybe because it is the only true adventure, maybe because that experience makes us feel completely alive... It may only last a moment, an hour, an afternoon, but that doesn't diminish its value, because we are left with memories that we treasure for the rest of our lives...

    Here, Merryl Streep and DeNiro are the kind of people who are ready to take action on an opportunity… Following a chance meeting in a bookshop, pre-Xmas, the two central characters find themselves inexplicably drawn to each other… But both are married… She has a husband, he has a wife and two lovely kids…

    Both are meant to be together but they are inexperienced, uptight… And neither really knows what to do with his fear, shyness, hesitation, and confusion… On this thread of plot hangs a nice romantic film where two super stars combined their talent to conquer a dry script…

    Director Ulu Grosbard makes sure there are plenty of subway stations, trains, hot dogs, coffee, driving rainstorm, two adjacent pay phones, walks through the streets, swelling music, and much more for the lovers to get romantic over… His motion picture is strictly traditional, which makes his sensitive film something fresh and entertaining…
  • One of my favorite movies of all time. I first saw this movie on Laser Disc when I was in high school and had been watching it for many times since. I love this movie. Mostly because of Mr. De Niro and Mrs. Streep. The chemistry between them was exploding the moment their character met for the first time. I like how the story flows. I love how they didn't play the sex card in this movie. They are just really FALLING IN LOVE. (One of the reason why I love this movie so much). I love Frank's expression when he looks at Molly and vice versa. De Niro and Meryl Streep really prove that they really are indeed great actors. The score by Dave Grusin (Mountain Dance) completed this movie. I recommend this movie for the romantic at heart and like to enjoy great chemistry from actors. This movie will not disappoint you.
  • cooper-291 January 2001
    Mostly people reserve comments of "Intense" to action movies but

    this small film is very intense in emotion. Some scenes the actors

    do not even need to speak and you know exactly what is going on

    in their heads. This is a simple story by all means but like the

    other reviews say, the cast elevates it to something much bigger

    than a normal movie. Hollywood probably wouldnt put up the

    money for something like this nowadays because its about people

    and there is no murder or terrorist activity going on as a subplot. I love this movie and I wish they would put it out on DVD. Another

    one paramount seems to have forgotten about.
  • viktor-86 March 2002
    Saw this movie for the first time, about 18 years ago. I must have been 14, 15 years old. I remember leaving the theater and telling this friend of mine, how in a way the movie was still 'with me'. The atmosphere, the feeling of it... We wanted to get back in and see the movie again right away!

    For years, the score used as DeNiro runs to find Streep in time (subway station-final scene), kept playing through my head every time I ran to catch the subway train myself. So after almost 20 years, putting in the DVD and watching these scenes while listening to the music was an experience, just as the movie is by itself: pure magic.
  • prinks17 September 2006
    The passion between the protagonists, De Niro and Streep is completely unbelievable. The nuances, the manner in which they fall in love is so completely real, they literally make one want to fall in love again! Streep's presence is natural, her attraction towards de Niro very gradual and in the end completely possessing. Both are brilliant. Dialogues could have had more depth, they lacked substance. Robert de Niro's honest confession to his wife, his helplessness with the feeling he feels towards Molly - it could happen to anyone! I had watched this film when I was only 16, and at double that age now, the emotion I feel is exactly the same! Watch it if you want to know what falling in love feels...
  • In a very long time, I haven't seen a good movie about a love story without being against the background of modern complexities or any special times that help add spices to it, yet leaving an impact that cannot be ignored. It is a story that is moving if happening in the fifteenth century equally as in the twentieth, twenty first and forever. A woman and a man at any given time of history can relate to it and that's the beauty of it. This is a lovely example of how such remarkable acting can bring the simplest of stories so alive. De Niro and Streep have outdone themselves in this movie conveying such deep feelings in such a simple context: a story that probably happens everyday, but in this movie they make you feel it, making you aware of its complexity despite its lack of any extraordinary circumstances. Even though De Niro as an actor always embodies such charisma and sex appeal, he able to carry himself as such a regular simple man-all that there is to him is that he is in love with a married woman other than his wife. As for Streep, she is similarly outstanding. Together, they bring depth to a story, that otherwise could be perceived as simple and not worth telling.

    In my opinion this is the most important element in movies: seeing a story through the people going through it.
  • I do not get tired of watching this movie. I really like the story and relationship development. A chance meeting in a book store and commuter train sparks a mutual romantic interest. Both people seem to be trapped in unhappy marriages and this chance meeting soon becomes planned meetings and a full blown romantic relationship.

    All the components of a love affair are here. The bittersweet finale is very dramatic and so goes romance. Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep are excellent as the smitten couple. The whole story is pretty ordinary, but these two actors make the characters transcend the screen.
  • annieyayaya10 February 2001
    Saw this movie years ago and what I like most about it, is that is is about romance,,,plain and simple. No explicit sex, fowl language,,just old fashioned love. The characters are so vunerable to one it, but's really great!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This pathetic cinematic attempt stole a few ideas from the 1945 black and white classic Brief Encounter, but believe me, this is no Brief Encounter. The only similarities are the trains and the unconsummated affair between two people married to others.

    The story revolves around two married, fairly affluent suburbanites, Frank and Molly, who meet in a New York bookshop while Christmas shopping, and later encounter each other on a commuter train, first by accident, then (as their mutual attraction grows) by design. Frank has two small boys, and Molly has lost a baby girl a year or two earlier. They then proceed very ploddingly and boringly to fall in love.

    The movie does get off to a promising start, with the festive, bustling New York Christmas atmosphere. I had great expectations, considering these two stars. Neither Robert DeNiro nor Meryl Streep should have stooped to the level of this dull drivel, though they probably did the best they could with what they have here...a plodding plot, unsympathetic characters, and the poorest dialogue in cinematic history.

    The screenplay has not a single original phrase and could have been written by a middle school student. There is a fair bit of mindless profanity of the 'O, my G--' type, always easy to write. I note that at least one famous critic lamented the poor script, so I am not alone. Poor Molly literally can't get through an entire sentence without stumbling and stammering. I had enough of this verbal bumbling about after 15 minutes, and after two hours was practically frothing at the mouth. If the point is that forbidden attraction is making Molly tongue tied like a schoolgirl, that might work for the first couple of encounters but not indefinitely.

    The pair seem juvenile and absurd when trying to physically groom to attract the other. When Frank asks his friend whether he's good looking, I could hardly keep from laughing. Molly fares little better while trying on a number of outfits to determine which will prove most attractive for her new man. Also, they both come off as immature teenagers chit chatting to their best friends about their new love interests. This fails miserably as an endearing indication that they feel young and fresh, falling in love like a couple of school kids.

    My sympathies lie with the harmless and hapless spouses. These marriages may not be that exciting but don't seem troubled, making sympathy unlikely for these would be adulterers. Molly's husband, Brian, is a quiet physician, occasionally off in his own world dealing with the distressing patient losses he must face in his career. However, he's very kind and supportive of his wife when she has her hysterical tizzy fit at her father's grave side, caused by anguish over the affair rather than grief for her dad. Who can blame him when he lies on the phone to Frank in the hopes of discouraging the lover? Frank's wife, Ann, is a pretty and apparently loving brunette, a wholesome gardening type and devoted mother. I felt like slapping Frank virtually throughout the movie. Happily, Ann DOES slap him across the face when she realizes his love for another!

    No, Frank & Molly do not have sex but the affair is just too dreary for it to make any difference. The pair do make it to the bed, but Molly puts the brakes on. Now if FRANK had put the brakes on, that might have been a bit more original.

    These two characters are neither interesting nor sympathetic. Affairs are only of interest when guilt is present, some sense of inner conflict to add interest to the character. Sadly, there is little guilt here other than a smidgen in Molly. Frank indicates no regard at all for either his wife or his two charming young sons.

    Worst of all, we have the uninspiring message that it's just dandy to break up two homes (one with children) as a result of being attracted to someone else. The pair get together in the end, the spouses conveniently gotten out of the picture in predictable, uninteresting ways. Ann goes home to her mother, and Molly apparently leaves Brian (or vice versa). Really, difficult as it is to believe with these two talented actors, this movie has little to recommend it. It's not a case of adultery but sheer unadulterated boredom.Instead of this disgusting drivel, treat yourself to Brief Encounter, the genuine article and a true classic.
  • Can two happily married, reasonable upper middle class people be led by a chance encounter to abandon their goodhearted spouses and tear apart two children's home? The answer is yes in this "romance" featuring exquisitely subtle performances by Meryl Streep (at her creamiest) and a young Robert DeNiro. I suppose many would find a lot of romantic appeal in such a story, but this is not the ideal date movie for an established couple in an emotionally prosperous relationship.

    That said, watching the movie some decade and a half after its release does deliver some nice nostalgia vis-a-vis sumptuous New York winter bustle scenes and High-Eighties hair and clothing fashions. Fans of the Fox TV comedy "Malcolm In the Middle" will enjoy seeing a youthful Jane Kaczmarek is a substantial supporting role.
  • If you believe this is wrong, I totally agree with you but DeNiro and Streep will force you in this movie to re-think the whole thing only if the story is like theirs.

    The movie starts with DeNiro not believing that one of his friends is capable of cheating on his wife and divorcing her to marry someone else! Only to find himself in his friend's shoes later! It's a very simple and honest story about the fact that no matter what you do and how hard you try, you don't control feelings they actually do control you!

    There are two scenes that will truly make you think and think. The scene when DeNiro tells his wife that he loves someone else and she slaps him on the face. He does nothing for what he can do! Seriously, what can be done?! If your partner comes to tell you that he/she is not in love with you anymore and that he/she is in love with someone else! What can you do? Can you force him/her to love you back?! And the second scene is when Streep drives her car hysterically to catch up with DeNiro (oh my God... just oh my God!)

    You HAVE TO see it.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    An outstanding movie about true love. I am a true blue romantic and this movie really moved me emotionally. The lead pair has put in a terrific performance, living the roles and making you forget its a film that you are watching. I especially liked Meryl Streep when she confronts Robert De Niro regarding their meetings, at his office; and when he calls her before departing to Houston and she wrestles with herself on meeting him. As for Robert De Niro, I have not watched too many of his movies but he is dishy, to say the least. I guess he has added another life time fan in me. I liked him a lot in the two situations when he runs to catch up with Meryl Streep - when he declares his love for her and finally when he runs to catch up with her once again and when he confesses to his wife about Meryl Streep.

    A simple story gets transformed into something beautiful by the cast. It describes a situation which may not be common but not rare either. There is a timeless grace to it. Definitely worth watching and adding to your all-time movie greats collection
  • I recently saw this movie for the first time and all I have to say about it is I did like it, but I also feel that it does kinda send a bad message that it's okay to abandon a perfectly good "normal" marriage for someone you meet on a random encounter. What's odd is that I've been in a relationship before where the other person was "involved" with someone and they had children only I was single and I must say it was VERY painful all the time. There was absolutely no "joy" or "romantic bliss" in that relationship and I'm very glad now that I'm no longer in it. But to BOTH be married and doing something like this is just plain wrong. I love both the actors and they did very well in portraying their characters, but the movie itself was a little bit upsetting. That's just my opinion.
  • it's not often that a movie on the WE channel will grab my attention, but perhaps it was robert deniro and meryl streep. and they're the best thing about this movie. it's nice to see deniro without a gun in his hand or a hit list. this film just goes to show how versatile he really is. he can do capone, he can do vito corleone, and he can do frank. he's not too confident (notice how long before he approaches molly on the train or how long it takes him to talk to his wife), but he can't ignore his feelings. meryl streep is wonderful as well. she gives us another real, honest, natural character. the chemistry between them is amazing. i think there's more going on when frank and molly just look at each other than in any Hollywood sex scene. this movie is ruined by the soap-operatic music and sappy ending, but i was very impressed by the performances.
  • There is only one thing more pleasurable than seeing a movie starring Meryl Streep or Robert De Niro, and that is to witness the magic which occurs when these two super stars perform together. The chemistry between them is overwhelming in "Falling In Love"--even more so than is their on-screen attraction in "The Deer Hunter." Unfortunately, during their individual interviews, credits and awards "Falling In Love" is rarely, if ever, mentioned.

    Ms. Streep portrays Molly Gillmore, a doctor's wife and commercial artist; and De Niro, Frank Raftis, a construction foreman, husband and father of two young boys in "Falling In Love." Fate brings the two together on a Metro North commuter train from Westchester County into Manhattan, in New York. Molly and Frank are good, moral suburbanites who just happen to be "Falling In Love," all the time struggling to remain loyal to their respective families. Only De Niro and Streep possess the refined artistic abilities to slide into the roles of normal, emotional, realistic characters--and to strengthen this already fabulous screenplay.

    "Falling In Love" and its dynamic on-screen duo deserve their fair share of attention and fame. For like Molly and Frank (and Linda and Michael before them, in "The Deer Hunter") Meryl Streep and Robert DeNiro are simply meant to be. Let's hope they'll engage in (at least) one more romance of destiny.
  • Can't believe all the positive comments about this movie. It is a dreary exercise in having nothing to say. It's like a romantic comedy without any romance or any comedy. De Niro and Streep make it watchable, but how much better would it have been if they had actual characters to portray? As it stands, they play two boring people who meet and leave their loving spouses presumably because they are bored and/or boring and end up with each other so that they make one boring couple by the end of this boring movie. If only some great character actor could have been added to the mix -- Thelma Ritter, Rosie O'Donnell, Peggy Cass, anybody -- Just give us someone to alleviate the tedium.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This movie proves it. Stay single, stay honest and have fun! Why jumping into marriage, then get tired, then cheat, then lie, then make excuse, and make everybody's life miserable and complicated? Look at Frank, look at Ed, look at Molly.

    Just imagine, if you are forced to eat ham and cheese everyday 3 times a day rest of your life, what would you do? You will go eat from the bin! Just imagine, if you are forced to wear the same sweater everyday rest of your life, you will go out of your mind until you are choked and rip it off to shreds! Marriage is a very wrong concept where two partners are tied up and stuck in a situation like this. Resuls in cheating and divorce. That's the reason, most married people crave to cheat their spouse. Affair adds spice to their boring life. But then again, why saying those words in the first place, "for better or worse, richer and poorer, until death do us apart", when everybody already knows marriage is obviously NOT going to last for ever. Then why going through this hypocrisy? Can you guaranty that some day you will not meet somebody else who you will find more compatible. Human beings fall for temptations, it's their nature.

    Maryl Streep manages to irritate me in almost all her movies. Can she say a complete sentence properly? It was like she was forgetting her lines from the script or didn't read her lines or something! And what's with the over-sized dresses and jackets, like 5 size larger than her actual size? Frank's wife is lovely, but Molly's husband looks like a homeless bum. Molly deserved better. On the other hand, what did Frank lack in his married life? Somebody please tell me that. So he cheated just for fun? for a change?

    This movie makes us ponder about hypocrisy, honesty, faith and temptations.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I am a hopeless romantic. Maybe that is why I fall in love with the movie characters so easily. It does not necessarily have to be between a man and a woman. It can be between any 2 persons. Father and daughter, brother & sister or what have you.

    I saw the movie almost 20 years ago on a trans Atlantic flight. May be I am confusing this with another movie but if my memory serves me right, in the end Robert DeNero & Meryl Streep just missed each other at the store & it really broke my heart. I have been trying to lay my hands on it for watching it again for all these years.

    Just laid my hand on the DVD a couple of days back. The final minute of the movie made my day.

    In my opinion and what I have always believed is that true love does not necessarily involve sex. It is simply wanting to be close to someone and not seeing but simply accepting the other person as a human as they are.

    Believe me I will be watching this one at least a few times every year.

    I would place this as one of my all time favorite love story right along side of Notting Hill & Pretty Woman.
  • pncheng16 July 2004
    I have read about comments from other viewers and some do not believe that such love affection can exist.

    In my view, it can exist but the question is how often would it actually exist, that is with a man and woman running into each other in real life who happen to love each other dearly in its true sense.

    This is a sad story and the saddest thing to happen in life; two potential lovers meeting at the wrong time. In some ways, the movie reflects ironically on the foolishness of human beings for creating for themselves intangible bondage only to be released at a high cost one way or another.

    I enjoy every inch of this long film.
  • For the first time I saw this movie when I was about 9 y\o and I'm keep watching it over and over again. Yes, maybe the story itself is nothing special, but it's 100% real!! It's not a Spider-Man, neither a Stepford wives or Terminal or any other artificial blockbuster that mainly are made these days! Of course, this movie wouldn't be as great as is without DeNiro and Maryl Streep! Mainly it is her part! She is not only natural and brilliant, but you even don't think that she's acting! She's lived this whole life through! That is acting!! We are forgetting what is the meaning of the word acting, unfortunately! The way she's hesitating whether she should stop the affair with a married man (DeNiro) or just let it all be. The way she struggles herself and this new feeling that doesn't allow her to lead her normal life anymore! You really believe Maryl Streep the way she's going through all this. You won't doubt a minute that she's feeling all this! It's just brilliant! The main music theme by Dave Grusin is just amazing! If you still haven't seen this movie, you really must do it! Go to the nearest Rental and take it!!! You gotta see it!!! It a real movie!!!!!! Just BRILLIANT!!!!
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