Rated: PG Reviewed by: Chris Release date: December 25, 1994 Released by: Paramount Pictures Corporation
Imagine a love story where the main characters aren't jumping into bed with one another in the first 10 minutes and the dialogue isn't peppered with four-letter words. Add to that, a couple of attractive, likable stars and four adorable old codgers and you have the premise for this wonderfully charming film.
Tim Robbins (The Player) plays Edward Walters, and auto mechanic who meets Katherine Boyle (Meg Ryan) when she and her fiance break down outside his garage. He falls in love with her at first sight, but, Katherine doesn't return his attentions. A smart cookie herself, she's more interested in a man's brain than his brawn and gives Edward the brush off.
Edward gets a little help in the romance department from Katherine's uncle, Albert Einstein (Walter Matthau) and his three egghead cronies (played by Gene Saks, Lou Jacobi and Joseph Maher). They aren't fond of Katherine's boyfriend, a stodgy psychology professor, and would like to see her fall for someone like Edward. No slouches in the brain department, the four old guys give Edward tips on how to impress Katherine with his newfound knowledge of nuclear fission, no less.
The cast is perfect. Ryan is flirty and sweet and Robbins has enough boyish charm to make you believe he's capable of knowing just about anything, and Matthau, Saks, Jacobi and Maher work terrifically together. Whether Matthau is speeding on the back of a motorcycle with his white hair blowing in the breeze, or the others are playing badminton with a vengeance, they're a hoot.
A 1948 film, A Song Is Born had a similar story. Danny Kaye was also aided in the pursuit of his dream woman by his elderly professor friends. The setting of I.Q. is the early 1950s and it has the same innocent, old-fashioned style.
The characters speak of fate, comets and stars and there is a little of that celestial magic throughout this enjoyable romance.