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Addicted to Love

The 1997 film Addicted to Love is intended to be a humorous love story. In reality, it is at some points dark comedy, full of bitterness and pain, and at selective others, it is the traditional, sweet romantic comedy for which Meg Ryan, who plays the part of Maggie, is known.

The story seems simple: Two pairs of lovers playing out a Comedy of errors, in which Maggie and Sam, Matthew Broderick's character, try several unethical and nasty tricks to break apart the envied union of their respective former partners, Anton and Linda, played by Tcheky Karyo and Kelly Preston.

However, the film was crippled by very harsh reviews. Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert panned it as immature, implausible, and imbecilic, but still gave it two stars out of a possible five.[1] He did not go as far as the Los Angeles Times' Kevin Thomas, who called it creepy and said:

"It is exceedingly difficult to find what's funny in the calculated, obsessive, relentless destruction of Anton, especially when he proves to be the most likable and mature of all four of these people. Maybe Addicted to Love might work as a pitch-dark comedy, but in the way Robert Gordon has written it and Griffin Dunne directed it, it gives us the impression that we're supposed to take drastic, irrational revenge as a larky laff [sic] riot."[1]

The film did warn viewers that it would be darker than what Ryan and Broderick are usually associated with, using the taglines "A comedy about lost loves and last laughs" and "A comedy about two people who are getting off on getting even."[1] However, the film only managed to take $34,673,095 gross at the box office [1], several million less than either Ryan or Broderick's averages. This might suggest that mainstream America was still unprepared to hear sweetheart Ryan utter phrases like, "I don't wish him dead. But, should that occur, people die every day, why should he be any different?" Another surprisingly blunt line comes when Maggie tells Sam, "The only way she's coming back to you is if a blast of semen propels her out the window and across the street."

The 101 minute film, marking actor Griffin Dunne's directorial debut, was released on May 23, one week before the highly competitive Memorial Day weekend in the United States. This suggests that Miramax might have thought it could hold its own going into the relatively light-weight summer of 1997.

While the majority of the filming took place where it was set, in the Greenwich Village area of New York City, some shooting was done in Centreville, Delaware and Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.