In David Hare's Strapless, Blair Brown plays a lonely physician living in England who has spent her entire life Denying Her Deepest Impulses. When she meets a kind and worldly Continental gentleman (Bruno Ganz) who seems intent on marrying her, she allows herself to be swept up into romantic passion not realizing, in her schoolgirl naivete, that there are some things Prince Charming isn't telling her.
Brown is an appealing actress, but Hare, the British playwright (Plenty), directs in such a stiff, premeditated way that he squeezes the juice right out of her. The movie is full of schematic symbolism and twitty, overexplicit exchanges, such as, She: ''Is thinking of things always better than doing them?'' He: ''Hardly. In your case, no.'' Strapless does feature a lively turn by Bridget Fonda as Brown's free-spirited sister, but most of it plays like a Pretty Woman for Mensa alumni it's pitched too high for human ears.