In Love and War is an anemic true-life wartime love story. Chris O’Donnell stars as a young Ernest Hemingway, who volunteered for the Red Cross during WWI. He is stationed in Italy, and yearns to see action. However, on a trip to the front lines, he is wounded, and in danger of losing his leg. Sandra Bullock plays Agnes Von Kurowsky, the Red Cross nurse who tends to his wound, and with whom he has a wartime love affair. Director Richard Attenborough, with a dearth of good source material, manages to create a passionless romance. No believable link exists between Bullock and O’Donnell. The character of Ernest Hemingway seems as if it should be a interesting and richly developed. However, as interpreted by Chris O’Donnell, Hemingway is bland and uninvolving, without a hint of the author that he would become. At least, Bullock’s nurse is better developed, and is the more interesting of the two characters. But a romance cannot thrive on one character alone. As a result, you don’t really care whether or not the two of them get together or not. Sure, it’s nice if they do, but with no emotional underpinning to the story, you are more interested in when the movie will end.
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