I.Q. [1994]

I.Q. has all the elements of a classic romantic comedy. Certainly Meg Ryan has demonstrated she has the stuff for funny love with films such as When Harry Met Sally... and Sleepless in Seattle, and director Fred Schepisi's Roxanne ranks among top contemporary romantic comedies. Even though Tim Robbins received acclaim for dramatic work in Jacob's Ladder and The Shawshank Redemption, his early comedic work shouldn't be forgotten (well, maybe Howard the Duck, but not the hilarious Sure Thing). And Walter Matthau? No explanation needed. Combine I.Q.'s talent with its fresh story and it charms. Garage mechanic Ed Walters (Robbins) is captivated at first glimpse by pretty, perky Catherine (Ryan), a gifted academic who lives with her uncle, Albert Einstein (a brilliant Matthau). Catherine is engaged to pretentious James Moreland (the oh-so-appropriate English actor and writer Stephen Fry). Catherine's early 1950s world is all bookish and brainy, even though she has aspirations toward the romantic (Moreland's idea of a honeymoon is the Belgian Congo with Pygmies; she longs for Hawaii). Einstein and his professor pals, played by Lou Jacobi, Gene Saks, and Joseph Maher, conspire to match their beloved Catherine with the sincere and smart (though not intellectual) Ed. This is a sweet--but not saccharine--story about "engineering" the course of true love and the ironic triumph of heart over head. The topnotch performances (which also include Tony Shalhoub and Frank Whaley as fellow mechanics) really draw audiences into this winning movie. --N.F. Mendoza

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