Mad Love (1995 film)

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Mad Love
Mad Love (1995) film poster.jpg
Promotional movie poster for the film
Directed by Antonia Bird
Produced by Steve Golin
David Manson
Written by Paula Milne
Music by Andy Roberts
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
Release date
  • May 26, 1995 (1995-05-26)
Running time
93 min.
CountryUnited States
Box office$15,453,274 [1]

Mad Love is a 1995 teen romantic drama film directed by Antonia Bird and starring Drew Barrymore and Chris O'Donnell. It was written by Paula Milne. The original music score is composed by Andy Roberts.



In Seattle, strait-laced Matt Leland (O'Donnell) falls in love with Casey Roberts (Barrymore), the new schoolmate from Chicago. They begin a relationship.

She deliberately sets off the fire alarm at school, trying to get Matt's attention, and is subsequently suspended. She has an argument with her parents over it and they tell her they are sending her to a boarding school. His father disapproves of their relationship and her parents try to stop them from continuing to see each other. She takes an overdose and they subsequently have her committed. Matt helps her escape from the psychiatric ward, and as they run away they must deal with her borderline personality disorder.

Casey is eccentric in nature. Her impulsiveness and risk-taking is attributed to her illness, in which she experiences frequent intense feelings, of passion toward Matt and of fear and destructiveness, which dominate her persona. Throughout the relationship, Matt selflessly puts her needs before his. The severity of her highs and lows increase as her mental state worsens.

Heading toward Mexico in Matt's SUV, Casey becomes increasingly reckless and overemotional. They crash and abandon the vehicle. They hitchhike, accepting a lift from a salesman (Liev Schreiber). He puts his hand on Casey's lap and she protects herself with a lit cigarette. He throws her out and a fight ensues between him and Matt. They steal his car and continue their journey.

Casey becomes more distressed and Matt does his best to help her. She scares him; after she threatens suicide and also threatens to shoot him with a gun she took from the glove compartment in the salesman's car. They return to Seattle and their families, where she is readmitted to the psychiatric hospital. Matt goes home and later receives a letter from Casey saying she has moved back to Chicago and now feels significantly better. She says she has good memories of their time together.

Main cast

Chris O'Donnell Matt Leland
Drew Barrymore Casey Roberts
Matthew Lillard Eric
Joan Allen Margaret Roberts
Sarah Haugland High School Extra
Jude Ciccolella Richard Roberts
Amy Sakasitz Joanna Leland
Kevin Dunn Clifford Leland
Elaine Miles Housekeeper


The film received mixed reviews from critics, as it currently holds a 30% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 25 reviews. O'Donnell's performance was highly praised by critics.

Variety published a mixed review by critic Emanuel Levy. He labeled the film as "yet another variation on amour fou and love on the run that makes little sense and fails to reach the heart". He also commented that "large sections of the pic are immensely likable" and highlighted aspects such as the realistic portrayal of mental illness. [2] The media service LoveFilm also gave a mixed review, calling the film a "b-movie road adventure". [3]


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  1. Mad Love at Box Office Mojo
  2. Levy, Emanuel (May 25, 1995). "Mad Love". Variety.
  3. Ellison, Richie. "A chick-flick turned b-movie road adventure". LoveFilm. Archived from the original on April 3, 2012. Retrieved October 26, 2011.