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Rated 3.05 stars
by 115 people

ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Albert Einstein Plays Cupid
by Betty Jo Tucker

From the film’s opening credits – with “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” playing in the background – to its near closing shot of a comet blazing across the sky, I.Q. sparkles with creativity and class. This delightful romantic comedy stars Meg Ryan, Tim Robbins, and Walter Matthau as a captivating and very funny Albert Einstein.

The movie’s clever story by Andy Breckman, who also co-wrote the witty screenplay with Michael Leeson), centers on Albert Einstein’s efforts to help auto mechanic Ed Walters (Robbins) woo brainy mathematician Catherine Boyd (Ryan), who also happens to be Einstein’s niece. With assistance from three eccentric scientist friends, Einstein teaches Walters how to behave like a genius by passing himself off as the developer of a “cold fusion propulsion” theory (just think “My Fair Genius”). Catherine, engaged to a stuffy experimental psychologist (Stephen Fry) can’t resist the new Ed Walters, but when she eventually uncovers the truth, Uncle Albert advises her that “the brain should not interfere with the heart.”

Bringing both brain and heart to their performances, co-stars Robbins and Ryan light up the screen with a sweet yet exciting chemistry.  Robbins evokes memories of Jimmy Stewart and Gary Cooper in those wonderful Frank Capra comedies. And Ryan makes us really care about what happens to Catherine Boyd.

Saluting the 50s with this film, versatile Australian born producer/director Fred Shepisi (A Cry in the Night, Roxanne) offers us a welcome trip down memory lane. I.Q. takes place during a time when Ike is President, Marlon Brando and Little Richard are at the peak of their careers, and The Day the Earth Stood Still is playing at the local Bijou.

Jerry Goldsmith’s nostalgic music, realistic costumes designed by Ruth Myers, and Ian Baker’s effective location photography contribute to our feeling of being in Princeton, New Jersey, when Albert Einstein played Cupid for his charming niece.

With the exception of a few slow-moving moments during the garage scenes, I.Q. comes across as highly entertaining for incurable romantics like me. (Capsule review)    

(Released by Paramount Pictures and rated “PG” for some mild language.)

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