I Love Trouble
Rated PG, 123 min. Directed by Charles Shyer. Starring Julia Roberts, Nick Nolte, Saul Rubinek, Robert Loggia, James Rebhorn.
As clichéd as I Love Trouble is, it still manages to please. Some of the time, anyway. Nolte is Peter Brackett, a star columnist for the fictional Chicago Chronicle. When editor Loggia is short a beat reporter one night, he sends the swaggering, full-of-it Brackett to cover a mysterious train wreck. It's there, in a scene filled with hazy smoke and sparks, that he first lays eyes on Sabrina Peterson (Roberts), an ace cub reporter for the competing Chicago Globe. Amiable flirtations lead to a seemingly unending series of mutual scoops, and before you can say “His Girl Friday,” they're working side by side, unraveling an increasingly ominous series of leads and McGuffins in an attempt to figure just what's going on here. The mystery is thin set dressing indeed. The real story here -- and the best thing about Shyer's film -- is the natural chemistry between the weathered, womanizing Nolte and Roberts' brazen, confident Peterson. There's something going on here, and when they're together onscreen (which is most of the time), it clicks. The banter and good-natured quips that you've heard a thousand times before sound alarmingly fresh and lifelike; Nolte and Roberts make for a surprisingly believable couple. The story here, involving sinister chemical corporations and evil Yale grads, is rehashed from dozens of previous romantic thrillers -- for that matter, so is the romance -- but Shyer keeps things moving with swift pacing and a confident hand. Even the time-worn montage scene of Roberts' character laboriously trying to meet deadlines is nicely done. I Love Trouble is a far cry from the romantic thrillers of the Forties and Fifties (Shyer occasionally stumbles while trying too hard to evoke Hitchcock), but as a Nineties update of the same old thing, it's not so awful.
Copyright © 2021 Austin Chronicle Corporation. All rights reserved.