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Love Walked In

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Love Walked In

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Denis Leary stars in Love Walked In as a struggling piano player married to a gorgeous singer (Aitana Sánchez-Gijón). Depressed and resentful of the upper-class clientele that frequents the ritzy club where he works, Leary sees a way out of his working-class rut in the form of Terence Stamp, a wealthy, married businessman who takes a liking to Sánchez-Gijón. What follows is a reasonably well-made but overly familiar neo-noir as Leary and Sánchez-Gijón become embroiled in a plot to blackmail Stamp. What separates Love Walked In from most similarly reverent neo-noirs is its admirable attempt to establish some sort of social context for its cold-blooded maneuvering. Leary's character is a neurotic, sputtering ball of class resentment, seething with envy and hatred for a world that won't see him as anything other than a two-bit piano player. Unfortunately, Leary's is the only halfway developed character, and even he has a tendency to slip annoyingly into his grating stand-up persona, most noxiously during a cringe-inducing scene in which his Gershwin-loving pianist launches into an already-dated diatribe against the "grunge-rock and the techno-pop" that has supplanted the classics in the public's imagination. The film's other two leads are stuck playing film-noir archetypes rather than three-dimensional characters. This is particularly true of Stamp, a talented actor who is reduced here to playing a man so stiff that he can barely muster the passion to leave his house, much less throw his life away in pursuit of a tempestuous affair.