Until September (1984) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Tuna

Scoop's comments in white:

The formula: really cute, unsophisticated, kinda daffy 'n' naive American girl ends up in Paris, starts out being offended by French surliness, and ends up being seduced by a suave Frenchman. The American girl and the Frenchman change each other's lives in profound ways.

Well, at least as profound as ways can get in lightweight romances.

Inexplicably, this pedestrian project was director Richard Marquand's choice to follow up his great back-to-back successes, a critical triumph named Eye of the Needle and a mega-blockbuster you may have heard of, Return of the Jedi. Marquand did a workmanlike but uninspired job at the helm of Until September, and Karen Allen was suitably adorable in the official (Goldie Hawn)/(Meg Ryan)/(Kate Hudson) role, but despite an established director and a likeable star, the film isn't really worth your time. There is nothing really very wrong with Until September. The problem is that there's really nothing very right with it, either. If you have seen any other film with the same general description, you have already seen this one. The lovers have no special spark. The story offers no new insights nor sparkling dialogue nor dazzling photography nor humor, and everything proceeds in a completely predictable fashion to a completely predictable ending. The film doesn't even offer any dazzling Paris sightseeing.

Therefore, there are only two circumstances in which you might enjoy it:

1. If the general premise appeals to you, you're into chick-flicks, and you have never seen anything similar. (All three must be true.)

2. If you would like to see Karen Allen naked.

For me, reason #2 was certainly true. Is there anyone my age who didn't have a crush on her? She's so cute, so perfectly "girl next door", so approachable, that any man could reasonably imagine her being his girlfriend. You know in your heart that you have no chance with Kim Basinger or Catherine Zeta-Jones or Bo Derek, but if you got stuck in an elevator with Karen, you might end up picking her up. She might even end up picking you up. Of course, I don't know if that is really true, but the point is that she gave off that aura, the promise that you might have a chance with her. Hell, in a sense, most men did already have a chance with her. Not specifically with Karen, but with your Karen-like favorite girlfriend in high school or college who was cute, sensible, a great sport, and even-tempered. Karen was that girl, at least on screen. She was everyone's surrogate girlfriend, and that quality is why she had a film career that seemed more significant than the one that might have been dictated solely on the basis of her ordinary talent.

And yet, reason #2 was not sufficient for me to recommend this film. Karen has a surprisingly excellent, petite body and she looked great in and out of her clothes. I enjoyed seeing her completely naked in several scenes, but in spite of that, and even though I've always liked Karen in general, I still struggled through this movie. It just never deviates in any way from the formula, and although it seems on the surface to be a romantic comedy, the romance doesn't sparkle, and it's just totally lacking in comedy.



  • No features except the original theatrical trailer
  • the transfer is not anamorphically enhanced, and is not especially vivid



The good news on this film is that

  • Thierry Lhermitte shows his bum
  • Karen Allen shows everything sooner or later, and shows her breasts many times.

Tuna's comments in yellow:

Until September is a romantic comedy staring Karen Allen as an American who misses her connecting flight from Paris to Eastern Europe. The process of coordinating visas with another flight will take some time, so she decides to stay in the apartment of an old school friend. The friend is away on vacation, as is most of Paris in August, including the wife of the handsome French neighbor (Thierry Lhermitte). Allen is immediately attracted to him, and he is in need of a mistress. Thus it begins.

I found it barely watchable, and that only because of the eternally cute Karen Allen. The entire movie is a complete cliché and very predictable from start to finish, but Allen was engaging enough to keep me from hitting fast forward.

The Critics Vote ...

The People Vote ...

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is a C-. Barely watchable romance, only because of Karen Allen's charm and nudity.

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