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'Feast of Love'

In a would-be-wistful dramedy that's almost insufferably full of itself, Morgan Freeman plays a sort of Oregonian village elder who sits all day in a coffee shop, offering advice to clueless locals about life and love.

He hints broadly that a man whose closeted lesbian wife is terrified of dogs probably shouldn't buy her a puppy for her birthday.

He tells a young woman who's falling for a recovering drug addict to follow her instincts — which results in the two kids making an amateur porn movie.

He tells the buyer of a house that the property appears to be cursed, and he says to a real estate agent ... oh, never mind. Director Robert Benton made Kramer Vs. Kramer and Places in the Heart, and much of the cast has respectable credits elsewhere, so nobody's reputation is likely to be irrevocably tarnished. But this drivel's not going to do anyone's career any good, either.

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Bob Mondello, who jokes that he was a jinx at the beginning of his critical career — hired to write for every small paper that ever folded in Washington, just as it was about to collapse — saw that jinx broken in 1984 when he came to NPR.