6.4/10
6,681
54 user 20 critic

The Thing Called Love (1993)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Music | 27 August 1993 (USA)
Trailer
0:31 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
A group of newcomers to the country music business seek love and stardom.

Director:

Peter Bogdanovich

Writer:

Carol Heikkinen
Reviews

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Dogfight (1991)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Before leaving to fight in Vietnam, a group of teenagers play a game where they try to seduce the ugliest girl they can find.

Director: Nancy Savoca
Stars: River Phoenix, Lili Taylor, Richard Panebianco
Dark Blood (2012)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Dealing with nuclear testing and its long-lasting deadly effects, the story portrays Boy, a young widower living in the desert on a nuclear testing site. Living as a hermit, he waits for ... See full summary »

Director: George Sluizer
Stars: River Phoenix, Judy Davis, Jonathan Pryce
Crime | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The eldest son of a fugitive family comes of age and wants to live a life of his own.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: River Phoenix, Christine Lahti, Judd Hirsch
Silent Tongue (1993)
Drama | Horror | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Mad with grief after the death of his Kiowa wife, Talbot awaits death under a tree with her body beside him. She begins to haunt him because he won't burn her. His father, who bought him the wife, thinks her sister might reason with him.

Director: Sam Shepard
Stars: Alan Bates, Richard Harris, River Phoenix
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Two best friends living on the streets of Portland as hustlers embark on a journey of self discovery and find their relationship stumbling along the way.

Director: Gus Van Sant
Stars: River Phoenix, Keanu Reeves, James Russo
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A charming womanizer has to find a way to get $80 to elope to Hawaii with his one true love, or else go to his father's chosen business school.

Director: William Richert
Stars: River Phoenix, Ann Magnuson, Meredith Salenger
Little Nikita (1988)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

An F.B.I. Agent works to uncover an All-American family as Soviet sleeper Agents, and gets caught up in friendship with their unaware son.

Director: Richard Benjamin
Stars: Sidney Poitier, River Phoenix, Richard Jenkins
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Joey owns a pizza parlor, and is married to Rosalie. He's also a serial womanizer. Rosalie goes to extremes when she finds he has been cheating.

Director: Lawrence Kasdan
Stars: Kevin Kline, Tracey Ullman, William Hurt
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An inventor spurns his city life to move his family into the jungles of Central America to make a utopia.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Harrison Ford, Helen Mirren, River Phoenix
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Footage from My Own Private Idaho (1991) is re-contextualized in James Franco's tribute to River Phoenix.

Directors: James Franco, Gus Van Sant
Stars: Wilmer Calderon, Jim Freivogel, Brian Lally
Short | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Ben E. King performs in the music video for "Stand by Me" from the original motion picture soundtrack for Stand by Me (1986). King sings to an audience before inviting actors River Phoenix ... See full summary »

Director: Nigel Dick
Stars: Ben E. King, River Phoenix, Wil Wheaton
Sneakers (1992)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A security pro finds his past coming back to haunt him, when he and his unique team are tasked with retrieving a particularly important item.

Director: Phil Alden Robinson
Stars: Robert Redford, Dan Aykroyd, Sidney Poitier
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
River Phoenix ... James Wright
Samantha Mathis ... Miranda Presley
Dermot Mulroney ... Kyle Davidson
Sandra Bullock ... Linda Lue Linden
K.T. Oslin K.T. Oslin ... Lucy
Anthony Clark ... Billy
Webb Wilder Webb Wilder ... Ned
Earl Poole Ball ... Floyd
Deborah Allen Deborah Allen ... Herself
Jimmie Dale Gilmore Jimmie Dale Gilmore ... Himself
Katy Moffatt Katy Moffatt ... Herself
Jo-El Sonnier Jo-El Sonnier ... Himself
Pam Tillis ... Herself
Kevin Welch Kevin Welch ... Himself
Trisha Yearwood ... Herself
Edit

Storyline

Miranda Presley moves from New York to Nashville to become a song writer. At an unsuccessful audition she meets James Wright a promising newcomer. After only a few days they marry, head over heels, but start to regret it very soon. Written by Matthias Scheler <tron@lyssa.owl.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Stand By Your Dream

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 August 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A szerelem nevű dolog See more »

Filming Locations:

Tennessee, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$433,254, 29 August 1993

Gross USA:

$1,029,721
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Dermot Mulroney is an professional cellist, playing his own pieces. See more »

Goofs

When James and Kyle fight in the parking lot of the Bluebird after Linda Lou wins 4th prize in the Miss Nashville pageant, Kyle falls. Linda Lou is on top of Kyle in one shot, but in the next, she is behind him, squatting down. See more »

Quotes

Miranda Presley: Look out Nashville, cause I'm here now and I ain't never leavin'!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in By Bogdanovich (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Love Is
Written by Tony Arata
Performed by River Phoenix
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

River Phoenix shines before passing on
14 August 2011 | by WuchakkSee all my reviews

1993's "That Thing Called Love" failed miserably at the box office but it's a pretty solid drama about 20-somethings trying to make it in the country music business in Nashville, where the film was shot. The story revolves around Miranda Presley (Samantha Mathis), fresh from New York City; Connecticut cowboy Kyle (Dermot Mulroney); ditzy but genuine Southern belle Linda Lue (Sandra Bullock); and the bursting-with-creative-energy-and-confidence James Wright (River Phoenix).

A few country stars have cameos, like Trisha Yearwood and Pam Tillis.

The film isn't redneck-y at all; the people are genuine and likable, if sometimes annoying. The movie has a hip flair and is filled with newer country music (for 1993, that is). Aside from trying to make it in the music business the story naturally revolves around Kyle and James' attraction to Miranda and their ensuing rivalry. The cool thing is that the film never cops a meanspirited vibe, despite one brawl; the viewer gets the impression that these are good, talented people who will remain friends no matter what.

What makes the film truly worthwhile is the magnetic performance of River Phoenix, who was 22 years-old during filming. His face looks almost exactly like Quorthon of Bathory, if you're familiar with that obscure metal band. River easily exudes the brooding charisma of Marlon Brando, no kidding. Unfortunately, three and a half months after the release of "That Thing Called Love" River was found dead outside an L.A. nightclub due to an overdose. He was 23.

FINAL WORD: "That Thing Called Love" may not be a great country music film like "Coal Miner's Daughter" but it's pretty solid and highlighted by the brooding charisma of River Phoenix. He was great and it's a pity he died so prematurely.

GRADE: B


6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 54 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed