A Previous Engagement (2008) - Rotten Tomatoes

A Previous Engagement (2008)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

A second honeymoon in Malta turns into a life-altering experience for a bored Seattle librarian and her unadventurous, insurance salesman husband in this mature romantic comedy starring Juliet Stevenson, Tchéky Karyo, and Daniel Stern. Twenty-five years ago, Julia (Stevenson) and her passionate French lover Alex (Karyo) made a promise to meet up in the romantic Mediterranean hot spot where they exchanged their first glance. Now stuck in a marriage with a man who seems more interested in assembling jigsaw puzzles than pleasing his neglected wife, Julia takes her husband Jack (Stern) on a trip to Malta under the guise of celebrating a second honeymoon. But the truth is that Julia has been fantasizing about Alex for years, and she's determined to make good on her promise to meet him, perhaps rekindling their old flame in the process. When Alex shows up with his sexy young girlfriend (Kate Miles) in tow, Julia can't help but wonder if she and her lover have been leading the wrong lives all these years. Later, when Alex storms their holiday villa declaring his devotion to Julia for the whole world to hear, Jack makes his mission to become the lover his wife has always longed for. In order to make that transformation Jack will take lessons in dancing and loving from a passionate ex-chorus girl (Valerie Mahaffey), but when the time comes for Julia to decide between the husband she's never known and the lover she's always longed for, will his noble efforts be enough to save a failing marriage?


Juliet Stevenson
as Julia Reynolds
Tcheky Karyo
as Alex Belmont
Daniel Stern
as Jack Reynolds
Claire Brosseau
as Jenny Reynolds
Elizabeth Whitmere
as Jill Reynolds
Kate Miles
as Samantha
Derek Riddell
as Charlie, Hotel Desk Clerk
Hendrik Jansen
as Hendrik, Young Man on Beach
Steve Noonan
as Café Waiter
Daniela Saioni
as Woman in Café
Pierre Stafrace
as Store Clerk
Stephen Noonan
as Cafe Waiter
Manuel Cauchi
as Local Man
Andrew Beacom
as Restaurant Waiter
Rosalind Brody
as Little Girl at Café
Didi Mizzi
as Little Girl at Café
Charlotte Fabre
as Little Girl at Café
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Critic Reviews for A Previous Engagement

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (11)

There are worse movies, but most restrain themselves to only one scene of Daniel Stern learning to salsa.

May 15, 2008 | Rating: D- | Full Review…

Despite the occasional detour into mawkishness, "A Previous Engagement" nicely balances unutterable truths about marriage and love with the comedy that is human interaction and the unending drama that is man and women, repulsion and attraction.

May 12, 2008

This is a romantic comedy where the romance is too fraught with implications for a comedy, and the treatment of character is too flippant for a romance.

May 9, 2008 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

While this slow-starting update of Private Lives has plenty of laughs, the incredibly expressive Stevenson turns Julia's romantic dilemma into something genuinely moving. She makes A Previous Engagement something special.

May 9, 2008 | Rating: 3/4

Director Joan Carr-Wiggin intends to strike a blow for frustrated wives and mothers everywhere, but her unimaginative mixture of obvious farce and feeble midlife crisis harangues gives everything the whiff of interminable theater.

May 9, 2008 | Rating: 1.5/5 | Full Review…

Though frantic from the get-go, A Previous Engagement rarely finds its feet. Devoid of the fine balance of grace and chaos necessary to any screen farce, the proceedings are slapdash, repetitious and badly overextended.

May 9, 2008 | Rating: 1.5/4

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