Burt Reynolds Plays a Wise Art Dealer in This Honest-to-God New Movie About Finding Love at Art Basel Miami Beach
Smokey and the Basel? The Hollywood vet stars as a wizened dealer who doles out advice on art and love.
“Come to Miami. Fall in Love.”
These are the words that close the recently released trailer for Miami Love Affair, a new romantic comedy about a love triangle between three couples in town “for the art fair,” a fictional nod to Art Basel Miami Beach, which was one of the inspirations for the script.
They’re spoken by Robert, a wise old well-to-do art dealer played by none other than Hollywood veteran Burt Reynolds, whose mustache has graced such artsy movies as The Cannon Ball Run (I and II), Smokey and the Bandit (I, II, and III), The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and of course Boogie Nights, which garnered the actor an Oscar nomination.
Reynolds is a natural fit for the role, even if it’s unlikely to earn him a second trip to the Academy Awards. The actor has lived most of his life in southeast Florida; he was born in Riviera Beach, a coastal town about an hour and a half from Miami, and for many years, he owned a massive estate in nearby Tequesta.
In the film, Reynolds looks like the consummate Miamian, rocking multiple combinations of dark sunglasses and bright suits. As a kind of art-world sage, Reynolds’s character Robert narrates the movie, guiding the young couples in life, love, and art.
One such couple is Lucia and Benedict—two artists showing work at the fair. Lucia is a talented Latin American painter; Benedict is an unhinged German who says things like “Mass Pop Art: no thinking, no meaning, just happy.” The two disagree about everything, however, they’re in an exhibition together, so…
Then there’s Anna, Robert’s assistant, who is more interested in her job than she is her boyfriend—a wannabe writer named Victor. Victor, in turn, has become attracted to Nina, a wild spirit he meets in town.
Nina’s own boyfriend, Theo, is an aspiring artist who pays for his own Miami show and hires a PR whiz in the hopes of being discovered. His plan works, attracting the attention of a wealthy older woman named Judith who commissions hundreds of paintings for her chain of hotels. But there’s a hitch: Judith—described as a “cougar” in the film’s press release—is interested in more than Theo’s art…
According to a press release, “[T]he couples (re-) discover their true passions and inspirations, their relationships to the monetary aspect of art, and possibly find love in the process.”
A handful of Miami artists lent their work to the production. Danilo Gonzales, a painter from the Dominican Republic, contributed canvases that stand in as work by both Benedict and Theo. While the work of Gustavo Fernandez, a Venezuelan artist, appears as Lucia’s in the film.
Written and directed by Ralph Kinnard, the film is currently making the rounds on the festival circuit. It premiered at the Calcutta International Cult Film Festival last fall and has since screened at a handful of over events, including the Miami International Film Festival and the Flager Film Festival in Palm Coast, where it won the “Best Ensemble Cast” award. As of now, no release date has been announced.
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