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July 10, 1992

Prelude to a Kiss is a 1992 American romantic fantasy film directed by Norman René and starring Alec Baldwin, Meg Ryan, and Sydney Walker. The movie follows a conservative man Peter (Baldwin) and a liberal woman Rita (Ryan) falling in love. On their wedding day, Rita (who fears life's uncertainties and is cynical of the world) is kissed by an elderly stranger named Julius (Walker), causing their souls to switch places. Peter realizes the change and reunites with Rita, now in the form of an elderly man. While trying to figure out how to restore his wife, Peter tries to connect with Rita despite her new form.

The movie is based on the 1988 play of the same title that was also directed by Norman René and written by playwright Craig Lucas, who adapted the film's screenplay. Alec Baldwin and Debra Monk were part of the cast in the play's worldwide premiere in New York City as well as the film cast, though while Baldwin reprised the same part, Monk played a new role. The title is taken from the 1938 torch song of the same title by Duke Ellington. Regarding the movie's story, critic James Hebert wrote: "When it [the play] premiered in 1990, it was widely presumed to be an oblique response to the ravages of AIDS. Long removed from that time, it becomes a broader commentary on eternal topics like the limits of love and the meaning of commitment."


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