Length: 95 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audio: DD 5.1
I.Q. is an unusually quirky romantic comedy from 1994, starring Meg Ryan, Tim Robbins and Walter Matthau, and directed by Fred Schepisi. The film was barely noticed upon release, earning only $26 million at the box office - which is a shame because it’s really a wonderful film, and it’s one of Walter Matthau’s best performances.
It’s the early 1950’s in Princeton, New Jersey. Catherine Boyd (Ryan), along with stodgy fiancé, drive to a garage when their car has trouble. It is there that mechanic Ed Walters (Robbins) instantly falls in love with Boyd.
Boyd is a brilliant young woman - a mathematician, and niece of the one and only Albert Einstein (Matthau). She sees something in the mechanic, but dismisses any idea of a relationship with him, not so much because of her fiancé, but because she feels the need to marry a genius.
Walters ends up meeting Einstein when he tries to return an item that Catherine left in his garage, and Einstein and his friends Kurt Godel (Lou Jacobi), Nathan Libknecht (Joseph Maher) and Boris Podolsky (Gene Saks), are immediately impressed by the young man. It seems that Albert is none too pleased with Catherine’s fiancé - so he and his friends take it upon themselves to play matchmaker.
Matthau, Jacobi, Maher and Saks have wonderful chemistry as four aging scientists / mathematicians from Princeton - espousing different theories as they work with Robbins’ character to make an impression on the niece. In some ways, the events parallel those in Schepisi’s earlier film, Roxanne, though this film is a bit more subtle, and much more low-key.
The picture’s aspect ratio is 2.35:1, and the transfer is anamorphic. The image is sharp, with no visible edge enhancement. Colors are well saturated, and shadow detail is good. There is some dust on the transfer, but it is minor. Overall, this looks very good.
There is a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, along with English Dolby Surround and French Stereo. The 5.1 track is nicely done. One doesn’t expect active surrounds and LFE from a romantic comedy, and it isn’t found here. Dialog is crisp and clear, and the music fills the front soundstage nicely.
This is a bare-bones release from Paramount, and I’m thrilled that this title is finally available on DVD. It would have been nice to have a director commentary - alas, there is none. At least, we have a nice anamorphic transfer and Dolby Digital sound.
If you’re unfamiliar with this film, do give this DVD a spin. You’ll be glad you did.