Movies based on popular novels are usually doomed before they start, since millions of readers have already cast and filmed the movie in their heads. And director Clint Eastwood's reticent style is the antithesis of Robert James Waller's romantic tale of middle-age passion. As a result, the film version of "Bridges" is rather different. TIME's Corliss describes a brooding romantic fantasy and a meditation on the anticipation and consequences of passion. Eastwood's generosity as a director and Meryl Streep's remarkable performance, says Corliss, "alchemize literary mawkishness into intelligent movie passion."