Directed by Fred Schepisi
Written by Andy Breckman (story and screenplay) and Michael Leeson (screenplay)
Starring Tim Robbins, Meg Ryan, Walter Matthau, Lou Jacobi, Gene Sacks, Joseph Maher, Stephen Fry, Tony Shalhoub, Charles Durning,
Fred Schepesi directed a nice little list of interesting films in the 80s and 90s, ranging from serious drama, to spy thrillers, to adaptations of plays, to comedy. But he was especially good at romance, and I.Q. was a weird and charming film about love and advanced physics.
Ed Walters (Tim Robbins) is a garage mechanic who ends up doing a repair for Princeton doctoral student Catherine Boyd (Meg Ryan). Sparks fly, though Ed is the only one to recognize it, since Catherine is already engaged to James Moreland (Stephen Fry). Still, Ed won’t give up. He finds something of hers and decides to return it, where he meets her uncle, Albert Einstein (Walter Matthau). Einstein and his scientists friends Liebknecht (Josephy Maher), Godel (Jacobi), and Podolsky (Gene Saks) team up to turn Ed into an intellectual so Catherine will fall for him.
Now, forget about historical accuracy. Like Inglourous Basterds, the film just doesn’t care. What makes it work is a sense of sweetness, where Einstein is a doting uncle and the other physicists are committed to the idea that love is more important that intellect.
Matthau has a lot of fun with the role, and the romance is in some ways secondary to the matchmaking scenes. But overall, it’s a charming little comedy.*
*I’m sure I liked it because of my interest in all things Einstein, due to my grandfather’s friendship with him.