A Little Romance (1979) is an apt title for George Roy Hill's sweet-natured comedy about adolescent love amid the impeccable settings of Paris and Venice. Shot on location, the appealing romance between two outsider kids nicely captures the yearning and joy of first love without cliché Hollywood excess. Making her film debut as the Heidegger-reading Lauren, 14-year-old Diane Lane's beauty and self-possessed performance as the gifted American girl living abroad landed her on the cover of Time in 1979 as a young star in the making. Lane's onscreen appeal was ably matched by fellow newcomer Thelonious Bernard as teen genius and cinéaste Daniel (who is first seen taking in Hill's Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid dubbed en français). Laurence Olivier is expertly sly and paternal as the mysterious Julius, while Sally Kellerman and David Dukes are suitably and humorously witless; Broderick Crawford nearly steals his few scenes as "himself." Despite its charms, A Little Romance did not become another Hill blockbuster, but Allan Burns did receive an Oscar nomination for his adapted screenplay and Georges Delerue won the Oscar for his enchanting score.
by Lucia Bozzola review