Frankie and Johnny (1991) Review

Johnny had just been released from prison and he gets a chef job in a cafe where he meets waitress Frankie. He sees something between them despite Frankie not wanting to get close and give in to her feelings for him.


Both Frankie and Johnny have pasts that they don’t really want to talk about and suddenly find themselves drawn to each other. I felt that gave the film a rather different feel than other romantic comedies and those that we have had from Garry Marshall. It was a very intense and and driven romance, I mean the sex scenes were rather wow. Not something that I was really expecting, not that it was very graphic or anything just managed to build that tension in the best possible manner.

I also loved that they both constantly lied about how old they were and certainly added to some lovely little moments that I really enjoyed. I mean probably because I am getting older and watching films where the character is just a little bit older offers small glimpses of hope.

Frankie had a tortured life due to a very bad relationship in her past and this is slowly revealed and the watching from the window of a horrible couple offers her hope that people can be strong and just leave. Johnny doesn’t realise much of this to begin with and is rather full on with her, although that is actually what she needs. That old cliche of someone coming along and showing why it never worked out with anyone else. Even though she was quite content on her own, she really did want love but was scared to venture into that again given her past relationship.

I was expecting good things from a film with Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer in all honesty, I mean who wouldn’t? Plus Pfeiffer is quite frankly brilliant in One Fine Day and really drives this film forward with a real relatable character. I miss that with more recent rom-com films (again probably because I am getting older). Al Pacino should have done more films like this one, his true intensity is rather breath taking and there’s always been something amazing about him. I think he manages to show that in this film as romance isn’t something that he has done a lot of just small glimpses and maybe as sub-plots within other films but this one is very full on.

Hector Elizondo always has a role in a Marshall film and that is often a very good thing that you cannot help but appreciate and enjoy. Never massive roles but effective. Nathan Lane was someone I had no idea was in the film and again in his few scenes lightened the mood a little bit.

The end scene goes from tragic to satisfying in a very small amount of time with the radio playing and the sun rising. It really could have gone either way in terms of a sad or happy ending. Although I don’t class it as a over the top happy ending, more like a realistic one!

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