People Staff
March 18, 2008 AT 05:00 PM EDT

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Cast: John Leguizamo, Javier Bardem, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Héctor Elizondo, Laura Harring, Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Ana Claudia Talancón, Liev Schreiber, Benjamin Bratt

Script: Ronald Harwood

Director: Mike Newell

Rated: R, for sexual content, nudity and adult language

Grade: B-

Let’s be honest: Love in the Time of Cholera didn’t exactly pack in the crowds at movie theaters. When he adapted the film from the epic romantic novel from author Gabriel García Márquez, director Mike Newell didn’t stray much from the plot, but he barely touched the surface of the idiosyncrasies, humor and feeling that made readers fall in love with the Colombian author’s work in the first place.

If you haven’t read the novel, it takes place in the 19th and 20th centuries. Young Florentino Ariza (Javier Bardem) falls in love with Fermina Daza (Giovanna Mezzogiorno, and fifty years, nine months, and four days after professing his love to her, he decides to do it again.

Márquez makes us believe in ever-lasting love through the story, which he tells without ever falling into the trap of being pretentious or cheesy. Unfortunately, the screenwriter’s pacing of the story to make it big-screen ready just doesn’t reflect the grandeur of the novel.

The DVD includes:
– Audio commentary from director Mike Newell

– The documentary The Making of Love in the Time of Cholera

– Never-before-seen scenes with accompanying audio commentary

– Widescreen version

– Dolby Digital 5.1 Sound

– Subtitles in English and Spanish

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