Warner’s video transfer for A Little Romance is brilliantly presented in this anamorphically enhanced transfer that maintains the film’s original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1. For such an “old” film, the transfer is quite spectacular and will excite viewers with its beautiful location shoots and backdrops of the Italian countryside and her eye-catching landmarks.
The clarity and sharpness of the image was quite surprising considering the age of the film - especially after checking out the trailer on the DVD first. The colors in the film were bold and vivid and the image was, for the most part, crystal clear. Everything was properly balanced and contrasted in A Little Romance, with no bleeding or oversaturation noted at any time. The Italian locales were quite gorgeous and exhibited some really nice hues that rarely went soft. Black levels in the film held up well the entire time and allowed for excellent shadow detail and delineation.
Being as old as the film is, it isn’t without its flaws and there were a few flakes and flecks noted on the print from time to time. None were overly distracting, as they were all of the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it variety. Grain was also seen on a couple of occasions and caused the image to soften somewhat. However, taken as a whole, these anomalies weren’t anything close to severe and didn’t distract from the enjoyment of the film in the least.
A Little Romance looks better than ever and Warner deserves major kudos for putting it all together so nicely. Excellent job from Warner Home Video.
Where the image transfer was quite impressive for 25-year-old film, the audio transfer didn’t fare quite as well and definitely showed its age. Warner’s Dolby Digital Monaural soundtrack definitely gets the job done, but at the end of the day, was nothing to write home about. However, considering the genre and subject-matter of the film, there’s not much need for it to be more than what it is – a dialogue-based drama that doesn’t need impressive effects or authoring to make it more engaging.
The film is dialogue heavy and in A Little Romance, it was firmly anchored in the front surrounds without any hissing or distortion noted. Everything was always crisp, clean, and easily understood at all times. The outdoor scenes and scenes shot in busy locales were unnaturally quiet and dynamics and fidelity throughout the track were severely limited by the source recording. Everything in the film sounded natural, albeit a bit thin, and nothing seemed out of place in the track at any time. Among the film’s notable honors is that it won an Original Score Oscar in 1979 for Georges Delerue and while its transfer wasn’t as rich and full as more recent soundtracks, it was very uplifting and pleasing nonetheless.
The film could have more than likely benefited from some ambient environmental surrounds, as well as some richer dynamics for the award-winning score. However, that’s not going to happen (mainly because 5.1 wasn’t available in 1979) and what we have is totally acceptable for the subject matter at hand. Warner’s audio transfer for A Little Romance is fine and dandy and viewers won’t find much to complain about. The studio has provided no alternate language tracks, with subtitles available in English, French, and Spanish.
Warner has surprisingly gathered together a few extras for A Little Romance. While none of them are particularly memorable or long, it’s nice to see that they’ve gone to the trouble of doing something other than providing simply a trailer.
Starting things off are a Cast & Crew section that includes a listing of the main players, as well as the principals behind the camera across two pages of static text. There are no biographies or filmographies attached to any of those named in the supplement however.
Remembering Romance With Diane Lane (6:51) follows and is an intimate one-on-one interview with the beautiful actress and she describes what it was like getting the role and starring in her first film, working with Sir Laurence Olivier and how down to earth he was, recollections from the set and shooting the film, and so on. It’s a marvelous piece and a nice remembrance of the film.
Next is a piece called Retro Artwork that contains 11 images of posters that were used to advertise the film back in 1979. This is followed by Making “Romance”; 3 pages of rather high-level production notes on the film and Awards; 1 page of static text that makes us aware of the film’s lone Oscar win.
The film’s Theatrical Trailer ends the disc and in less than 10-minutes time, we’re done with all of the supplements for A Little Romance. Like I said earlier, it’s not much, but at least it’s something.
A Little Romance manages to provide viewers with a lot of “warm fuzzies” when it’s all said and done. If you haven’t seen the film in a few years, rest assured it’s as affectionate and embracing as you remember. If you’ve never seen it before, it serves as a great rainy day movie to watch with you significant other in order to score some major brownie points and remind yourselves why it’s so much fun to be in love.
Warner’s DVD is right on the money and provides viewers with a spectacular video transfer and an audio transfer that gets the main points of the film across well. An outright purchase will really depend on how much you enjoy the “young love” genre although A Little Romance comes highly recommended for fans of the film or it principals. Even so, it makes a nice weekend rental for those unsure.