Ryan, with help from Matthau, shines in I.Q.
Albert Einstein (Walter Matthau) elects to play a most unlikely Cupid for his niece, Catherine Boyd (Meg Ryan), and Ed Walters (Tim Robbins) in I.Q.
Directed by Fred Schepisi.
Written by Andy Breckman and Michael Leeson.
Starring Meg Ryan, Tim Robbins, and Walter Matthau.
Sony Copley Place.By Jimmy Wong
Those who enjoyed Sleepless in Seattle may initially be shocked that Meg Ryan has become a doctoral candidate in mathematics in her new movie, I.Q. Don't worry - she is still the warm, vivacious character that her fans have come to love. Her strong performance, as well as an exceptional performance by Walter Matthau as Albert Einstein, makes this film a good addition to the romantic comedy genre.
The story begins as Ryan and her uptight fiancée (Stephen Fry) make an emergency stop at an auto repair shop. One of the mechanics (Tim Robbins) instantly falls in love with her but can't seem to bridge the apparent intellectual gap. When Ryan leaves her watch behind, he decides to take a chance and return it. He then finds out that she lives with her uncle, physicist Albert Einstein.
Fortunately for Robbins' character, the great scientist and his friends (Lou Jacobi, Gene Saks, Joe Maher) take an instant liking to him and decide to help him out. Their task is not easy.
Ryan's character, Catherine Boyd, is determined to marry a genius so that her children will be brilliant like her uncle. Her self-centered fiancée, James, has already established himself as a respected scholar in psychology. The old men, who think that James is a snob, decide the only way to get the Robbins' character, Ed Walters, and Catherine together is to give Ed the illusion of genius.
Surprisingly, it is not Ryan or Robbins who stands out in the film, but Matthau. His crafty Einstein comes up with a crazy plan that begins innocently but soon draws President Eisenhower to Princeton University. Einstein's incredible ideas as well as the hilarious antics of his friends bring a fresh perspective to romance. They prove that there are few situations that senior citizens can't handle - getting involved in everything from friendly sabotage to emergency damage control.
Fans of Ryan will not be disappointed either, especially those who like her performances in Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally. Her simple charm and endless energy once again demonstrate why she is so effective in these romantic comedies.
I.Q. is not meant to be a sweeping epic or a scholarly work. It is instead a pleasant distraction for those who still believe in destiny and true love.