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Running Time:
2 hours, 11 minutes

Rating: PG-13 Parents Strongly Cautioned.

Rating Explanation:
for sexual content

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
Kevin Kline is fine as legendary composer Cole Porter, but the film biography, though visually stunning and packed with many of Porter's best songs, is dull and depressing.

Additional Info:
DVD Features: Audio commentary by director Irwin Winkler and Kevin Kline; Audio commentary by director Irwin Winkler and writer Jay Cocks; "Making of De-Lovely" featurette; "Music of De-Lovely" featurette; Anatomy of a scene: Be a clown; Anatomy of a scene: Love for sale; Deleted scenes; De-Lovely soundtrack tv spot; Original theatrical trailer.

When we first meet Cole Porter (Kevin Kline), he is an incredibly wealthy guy from Ohio, who is just discovering that the world not only likes his songs, it might even pay him for writing them. Kevin Kline, who was the star of director Irwin Winkler's last film (Life as a House), gives a spirited performance as Porter. Ashley Judd as his wife Linda, provides a pretty face but not much more. She is the long suffering, but understanding wife who does have her limits. She has no problem with Cole's nightly flings with his gentlemen friends; but she doesn't like being ignored, and she wants him to practice more discretion. In the first part of the film, Porter's wonderful songs are only seen in snippets. The musical numbers are mostly punctuated with awkward and stilted dialog that kills the movie's momentum. In the downbeat second half of the story, Cole and Linda both develop serious medical problems. A horse riding accident crushes Cole's legs, leading to excruciating pain and many operations for the rest of his life. Linda smokes incessantly, giving herself the emphysema that leads to her death in 1954. Porter lives on for ten more years, but his life and the film goes steadily downhill from that point on. The wonderful songs are staged with style and sung by a host of today's popular artists (Natalie Cole, Elvis Costello, Sheryl Crow, Diana Krall, Alanis Morissette and others) and they are the highlight of the film. Probably the biggest mistake here was allowing the film to be made by director Irwin Winkler (Shipping News) and written by Jay Cocks (Gangs of New York). They've done a better job here than with those clunkers, but where is Baz Luhrmann when you really need him?

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