St. Ives Movie Review
Pronounced "sahn TEEVE," the film is based on a Robert Louis Stevenson tale about a Napoleonic Era French captain named Jacques St. Ives (Jean-Marc Barr) who is captured by the British during the war, sent to P.O.W. camp in Scotland, and falls in love along the way, of course. The object of his affection is a local girl (the forgettable Anna Friel), who lives under the protection of her mother (Miranda Richardson), a woman who is having a dalliance with the stiff prison camp boss (Richard E. Grant), who is oddly enough receiving lessons in the ways of love from our very own, very Frahnch St. Ives.
It's enough circular plotting to make you dizzy, but rest assured, St. Ives is as light as a feather and hardly and more memorable. Though Barr makes for a rakish and amusing hero, his romance with Friel is unbelievable, simply because she is such a dull, cold fish. Richardson and Grant cut together some goofy fun, but their scenes are few. Overall, the picture is well made and pretty to look at, but it's not the most compelling moviegoing experience I've ever experienced -- in fact, I'd never even heard of the story before seeing the film.
That said, any fan of period pieces will find St. Ives a 90 breezy minutes that takes you back to the Napoleonic France you've never seen before.