American Fable is ambitious, maybe too much so sometimes, but there's an intense pleasure in the boldness of the film's style.
The most romantic passage in any relationship, I sometimes think, is just before you start beginning to know the other person. They still remain an intriguing mystery, so you can project your desires and fantasies onto them: Potentially they represent everything you've been searching for. The other person, of course, is equally free to project fantasies upon your screen, and at some point in this process the two people agree that they were destined for each other. Then the painful and difficult process of getting to know the other person begins, and destiny takes a holiday.
The opening scenes of David Hare's "Strapless" are poised at precisely such a moment in the relationship of two strangers: Lillian, an American nurse who has worked for several years in London, and Raymond, a mysterious stranger she meets while on holiday. They encounter each other in a church. Each is clearly intrigued. Raymond is the kind of man who seems able to anticipate just what a woman wants to hear, and to say it just before she knows she needs to hear it.
Lillian, an independent and lonely woman, finds herself saying things she thought she'd never say again.
Back in London, life goes on. Lillian (Blair Brown) is involved in labor activities at the hospital, where the nursing staff opposes budget cuts by the Thatcher regime. At home, her life is complicated by the arrival of Amy, a younger sister (Bridget Fonda), who sleeps with a succession of boyfriends and makes vague plans to support herself as a dress designer. One day Amy tells Lillian she is pregnant and plans to have the baby - primarily, it would seem, in order to experience the wonders of going through natural childbirth while listening to Mozart.