An Affair to Remember is the 1957 film starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr that is for many the epitome of the romantic film.
At the start of the movie, Grant and Kerr are just embarking on a sea voyage. Grant plays Nick Ferrante, a playboy, while Kerr is Terry McKay. Terry is having an affair with a wealthy married man, who pays her bills, although she has been a fairly successful nightclub singer. At the same time, Nick moves from wealthy woman to wealthy woman, ignoring his talent for painting. The two become friends, then lovers, but the arrival in New York points out that each–or both–would have to give up their “secure” situation to risk everything to continue the romance. Neither is ready to make that commitment.
They decide to meet in six months at the top of the Empire State Building if–and only if–they each choose to gamble on each other.
On the day, Terry gets hit by a taxi crossing the street going to meet Nick. Nick, unaware of Terry’s accident, thinks she has given him up, but goes back to painting instead of rich women. Later, they meet by chance. A few days later, Nick tracks Terry down to give her a piece of his mind, not realizing she is still unable to walk.
Remind you of Sleepless in Seattle? Of course it does, because SiS was directly influenced by AAtR. Delightfully so, in fact.
In this film, Grant is again at his suave, charming best. Kerr is, as usual, beautiful. Despite the fact that both stars are at the top of their game, the costumes are gorgeous, the script is often witty (thanks to the stars, in my opinion), this is far from my favorite Grant film. The end is pure melodrama, a three-hankie weak ending that fails to address the real talents of the stars or the real dilemas of the characters. But it is still gorgeous to watch.
This is Cary Grant month here, and two films I’ve already thrown out that I do love are The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer (#27) and The Philadelphia Story (#35). Both feature a suave, charming Grant but showcase his comic side as well. These three films make a nice group, in fact, basically showing two decades of Grant’s acting and appeal.