In voice, manner, patrician charm and private torment, Kevin Kline is perfection as legendary composer Cole Porter (1893-1964). His marriage to socialite Linda Lee (a strong Ashley Judd) included a gay life his fans never imagined. Director Irwin Winkler and writer Jay Cocks trip over their admirable ambitions to show Porter's secret heart beating in his music, sung by contemporary artists from Elvis Costello (fine) to Alanis Morissette (feeble). But Kline makes Porter's coaching of a Broadway hunk (John Barrowman) on how to sing "Night and Day" a lesson in seduction. At its best, De-Lovely evokes a time, a place and a sound with stylish wit and sophistication.
From The Archives Issue 296: July 26, 1979