Mixed or average reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 28
  2. Negative: 4 out of 28
  1. 20
    All icing, with a few crumbs devoted to the notion that it is futile to resist the heart's desires.
  2. 100
    Supple, eloquent and enchanting.
  3. Reviewed by: Beth Pinsker
    Sorvino can't pass for a man, but that's beyond the point in this rarefied situation. She's beautiful and she can usually act, but here the only convincing thing she projects is fatigue from running around the garden all day.
  4. I was periodically put off by a certain self-conciousness in delivering this material.
  5. 75
    The story, based on an 18th century French play by Pierre Marivaux, is the sort of thing that inspired operas and Shakespeare comedies: It's all premise, no plausibility, and so what?
  6. The artifice may be ancient, but the thought and emotions -- and especially Sorvino -- are beautifully, refreshingly modern.
  7. 60
    Indeed, a triumph of love: love of performance, love of joy, and, above all else, love of love itself.
  8. 60
    What is surprising, and what one takes away most deeply and happily from Triumph of Love, is a refreshed admiration for Mira Sorvino.
  9. The result is an exquisite yawn that provokes consideration of how accomplished Ben Kingsley, Fiona Shaw and Mira Sorvino and others are as actors -- but how in this instance the characters they play so intensely never come alive.
  10. The film is worth seeing for Sorvino alone. The actress hasn't been this good since Woody Allen's "Mighty Aphrodite," a role that couldn't be more dissimilar.
  11. The always reliable Kingsley and Shaw are hilarious, and if the movie isn't quite a triumph, it's still far better than the junk food currently cluttering movie screens.
  12. 25
    A triumph of misguided moviemaking, starting with a grotesquely miscast Mira Sorvino, who arguably gives the worst performance ever by an Oscar winner.
  13. However charming Kingsley and Shaw are as the lovestruck pawns and Sorvino as the advancing queen, the premise is less playful than played-out.
  14. 42
    It's a gorgeous picture and features three substantial performances, but the material is chatty, forced and excessively arch.
  15. 38
    It's the kind of thing that Shakespeare might have written if he had undergone a frontal lobotomy.
  16. 60
    What we're watching, however charming, is a fancifully costumed theater piece that cuts off the oxygen needed to make a play breathe onscreen.
  17. 80
    This intelligent, breezy romantic comedy sings a love song to theater. Plus, there's a hunky lug and Mira Sorvino in drag.
  18. It could have been something special, but two things drag it down to mediocrity -- director Clare Peploe's misunderstanding of Marivaux's rhythms, and Mira Sorvino's limitations as a classical actress.
  19. Farce is a genre best served with building momentum and crack timing. This lazily paced piece seems more concerned with winking at the audience and putting quotations around the performances than anything so crass as playing this farce for laughs.
  20. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    Sets you nearer than theater permits -- and further back than most movies dare. A magic vantage.
  21. 50
    Shaw and Kingsley both create crisp, comic performances, but Sorvino remains a problem throughout. Her physical transformation falls short of the "Boys Don't Cry" standard, to put it mildly.
  22. Triumph of Love, Marivaux's 270-year-old romantic comedy, is a beguiling trifle, a gauzy, teasing inquiry into the fungibility of emotions.
  23. 40
    It's all surprisingly predictable. As for Sorvino, she can wear the clothes, but they don't necessarily make the man.
  24. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    Light, thoroughly entertaining comedy;
  25. 60
    It's a giddy farce worthy of Lucy and Ethel, and Peploe plays up the buffoonery.
  26. Playful as it is, Clare Peploe's adaptation of Pierre Marivaux's romantic comedy coughs and sputters on its own postmodern conceit.

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