|Bridget Fonda and Russell Crowe in Rough Magic (1995).|
One of the most charming unheralded movies of the eighties was Clare Peploe’s High Season, a high comedy set on a sun-soaked Greek island. It took Peploe – who is married to Bernardo Bertolucci and sometimes gets screenplay credit on his movies – nearly a decade to be able to make another picture. Rough Magic came out early in 1997 after sitting in the can for two years, opened in very few cities and received mostly dismissive reviews. But it’s one of the oddest and loveliest comedies of the mid-nineties. Adapted by Robert Mundy, William Brookfield and Peploe from a James Hadley Chase novel called Miss Shumway Waves a Wand and set in the fifties, it’s a cross between a screwball comedy and a magic-realist fable.