Love Potion No. 9 (film)
|Love Potion No. 9|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Dale Launer|
|Produced by||Dale Launer
Thomas M. Hammel
|Written by||Dale Launer|
|Music by||Jed Leiber
|Editing by||Suzanne Pettit|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Running time||92 minutes|
Love Potion No. 9 is a 1992 movie starring Sandra Bullock and Tate Donovan. Inspired by the famous doo-wop song of the same title, it's about a special elixir (Love Potion No. 8) that enables a person to make people of the opposite sex become completely infatuated with them by simply talking. The potion also makes people of the same sex loathe, and sometimes physically attack, the one who is using the potion.
Paul Matthews (Tate Donovan) is a lonely biochemist with a crush on his unavailable co-worker, biologist Diane Farrow (Sandra Bullock). His friends take him to a gypsy on 34th and Vine named Madame Ruth (Anne Bancroft). After reading his palm and seeing absolutely no romance in his life, Ruth gives him a small amount Love Potion No. 8 on a piece of paper. As a scientist, Paul has doubts and ends up throwing it in the trash when he gets home. Around this time, Paul's friends buy him the services of Marisa, but all they do is talk.
His cat gets into the trash and eats some of the potion; then it meows and attracts all the other cats in the neighborhood. When Paul sees the results, he takes it to Diane, and they find out the "scientific" properties of it. After analyzing it, they decide to use themselves as human test subjects. Diane ends up attracting an Italian car mogul and the prince of England, ending up getting a makeover in the process, while Paul has a string of hookups with women in bars, supermarkets, cars, and sorority houses.
Paul and Diane realize their romantic attraction to each other and become involved. Eventually, Paul plans a proposal to Diane; however, when he comes by her house to do so, she has fallen into the arms of Gary, who was originally only using her for sex, since she's under the influence of the potion. Paul gathers his friends and tells them about the potion, which causes them to laugh in his face. Marisa arrives at the house and uses the potion (which she earlier found and used to rob Paul) and uses it on Paul and his friends, proving the power of the potion.
By this time, Diane and Gary are getting married. Paul goes back to Madame Ruth, who gives him Love Potion No. 9, which will purify Diane and Paul's love forever (unless Diane was never entirely in love with him, in which case Paul will love Diane for his entire life and Diane will eternally hate him). Paul and friends coerce the matron of honor at Diane's wedding to help them, and Diane ends up running out of the wedding into Paul's arms.
The film gives a pseudoscientific explanation as to how Love Potion No. 8 "works". It's explained:
- When swallowed it affects the vocal cords directly so that when you speak micro-tremors encoded within your voice stimulate tiny little hairs in the inner ear of the opposite sex. The hair vibrates, sending a signal along a nerve to the brain, which in turn produces a combination of mood-altering, endogenous chemicals responsible for the biochemical process of falling in love. It makes members of the same sex hostile. It only works for four hours at a time.
Love Potion No. 9 prevents love from fading, and overrides the effects of Love Potion No. 8.
- Tate Donovan as Paul Matthews
- Sandra Bullock as Diane Farrow
- Mary Mara as Marisa
- Dale Midkiff as Gary Logan
- Hillary B. Smith as Sally
- Anne Bancroft as Madame Ruth
- Dylan Baker as Prince Geoffrey
- Blake Clark as Motorcycle Cop
- Bruce McCarty as Jeff
- Rebecca Staab as Cheryl
- Adrian Paul as Enrico Pazzoli
- Ric Reitz as Dave