The acclaimed tele-movie that launched director Anthony Minghella’s distinguished big screen feature career, Truly Madly Deeply is a tour de force romantic comedy, rich with insight, sensitivity and real heartfelt emotion. A more than welcome addition to the zone 4 DVD catalogue, this delightful classic wins through with dazzling performances from the lead and supporting ensemble cast, not to mention Minghella’s daring willingness to subvert the usual romantic comedy paradigms, favouring a full satisfying melancholic piquancy over cliched saccharine fairytale wish fulfillment.

Opening with a searing exploration of grief and loss heart-rendingly portrayed by the magnificent Juliet Stevenson, Truly Madly Deeply immediately sets itself apart with its unshrinking focus on the tortured widowhood of Nina. A sweet, warm-hearted language expert with a good job, loving friends and a ramshackle apartment, we see that Nina is nevertheless brave facing her way through the depth of despair – she simply cannot come to terms with the sudden loss of her beloved husband, Jamie (Alan Rickman), a year before.

Not exactly hysterical subject matter. But it’s the film’s initial embracing of Nina’s pain, which allows the audience to go on the fantasy journey that follows, as a ghostly Jamie comes back from the dead to comfort and ease Nina on her way to a new life without him. Indeed, it is because we feel exactly how much she loved him, that it becomes easier to believe Nina’s longing could have brought Jamie back. Or, later, to understand that the ghostly Jamie’s real purpose in returning is to help set Nina free from her undying attachment.

So while you may sob in the first half hour, this will only heighten your sense of joy at the return of love lost. Similarly, you will have real empathy as Nina gradually begins to realise that living with the ghosts of the past is no substitute for embracing life and moving forward to new pastures. One of the truly great date flicks, Truly Madly Deeply also boasts a stirring classical meets contemporary score, stretching effectively from Bach to the pub sing-a-long strains of ‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore’. A must-to-own triumph for any DVD collection.

Available from www.totaldvd.com.au for only $27.95


She said, in conjunction with Total DVD, has five copies of Truly Madly Deeply on DVD to giveaway, thanks to the generosity of Fox Home Entertainment. To win this wonderful prize, all you have to do is , answer a simple question and enter the draw.