"The Truth Will Set You Free from Grief and Obsession"
What You Need To Know:
THE FACE OF LOVE is a sad but poignant, compelling tale of grief and new hope. The movie turns a little creepy, but manages to pull off this tonal shift. The bittersweet ending is touching and heartrending, but also sublimely uplifting in a unique way. Despite an interesting moral, redemptive lesson about truth, the movie has a strong humanist worldview. These are godless characters. Their premarital affair is seen as a “normal,” valid activity for lonely older people and other adults. So, extreme caution is warranted for THE FACE OF LOVE.
(HH, Ro, B, LL, V, S, N, A, DD, MM) Strong humanist worldview about relatively godless people (in the sense that they live their lives and solve problems without God or Jesus), with some Romantic elements and a moral, redemptive lesson that can be seen as positive and seems to suggest the idea that the truth will set you free from a loss, grief, and obsession; 12 or 13 obscenities and profanities (including two strong profanities mentioning Jesus and five light profanities mentioning God); light violence includes man’s drowned body found, man throws paint brush in anger, young woman screams and shoves man visiting her mother away, and distraught woman runs into high surf and has to be pulled back out to save her life; implied fornication scenes but brief and older unmarried couple shown lying under covers in bed; upper male nudity; alcohol use; brief smoking and a reference to getting “high”; and, lying, widowed woman keeps a major secret from her daughter and her new lover, man keeps his heart problem a secret from girlfriend.
THE FACE OF LOVE is a romantic drama with a twist that turns the movie into a psychological suspense thriller. The movie ties everything up in a nice ending that’s surprisingly inspiring, but the movie’s mostly a humanist affair about an extramarital affair between a widow and an unmarried man who looks exactly like her late husband.
The movie opens five years after the accidental death of an interior decorator’s architect husband, who loved art. Annette Benning plays Nikki, the widow in question. Nikki is still mourning the loss of her beloved. Then, one day, she meets her husband’s exact double, a painter named Tom, played by Ed Harris. Nikki feels as if she’s met the love of her life again. However, things turn a little creepy as Nikki tries everything she can to hide her new lover from her college-age daughter and her husband’s best friend, who lives next door. When they find out how much Tom looks like the late husband, Nikki takes a sudden action to keep the truth hidden.
THE FACE OF LOVE is a sad but poignant tale of grief and new hope. Although the movie turns a little creepy or spooky, it manages to pull off the shift in tone. Thus, it remains compelling throughout its running time. The bittersweet ending is worth watching. It’s also both touching and heartrending, but also sublimely uplifting in a unique way. Eventually, Nikki has to find some way to move past her grief, which leads to her misguided obsession with Tom. In a way, it’s facing the truth that ultimately sets Nikki free from her grief and obsession. Annette Benning and Ed Harris tell this striking tale with the right amount of care and emotion. The last scene just tops everything off in a nice, though bittersweet, way.
That said, the movie seems to have a strong humanist worldview. Thus, although there’s a light moral, redemptive lesson from the fallout over the heroine’s obsession with reliving the past, the movie’s characters are godless people without a biblical foundation. Also, the premarital sex is seen as a “normal,” valid activity for lonely older people and other adults. So, extreme caution is warranted for THE FACE OF LOVE.