George Roy Hill's A Little Romance seems to be an international remake of The World of Henry Orient, a slightly underrated mixture of lyrical adolescence and extramarital hi-jinks. Here, Diane Lane and Thelonious Bernard play two young lovers with high IQs who combine puppy love under the Bridge of Sighs with conversations about Heidegger…. Bernard is not merely a young lover; he is also an avid movie buff with a particular passion for George Roy Hill's works, several of which are excerpted in A Little Romance…. A Little Romance abounds with heavy-handed caricatures lumbering around its two elfin sprites. George Roy Hill and scenarist Allan Burns may simply have lost their deftness with peripheral characters under the strain of being funny and charming within American, French, and Italian contexts. There are moments when the movie is exuberantly elitist, and that is all to the good, but for the most part, A Little Romance is disconcertingly soft and fatuous. Nonetheless, Hill does display bursts of taste and energy even in this misfired project.
Andrew Sarris, "Captains Courageous" (reprinted by permission of The Village Voice and the author; copyright © News Group Publications, Inc., 1979), in The Village Voice, Vol. XXIV, No. 18, May 7, 1979, p. 49.∗