Director Billy Wilder salutes his idol, Ernst Lubitsch, with this comedy about a middle-aged playboy fascinated by the daughter of a private detective who has been hired to entrap him with the wife of a client.
Recent college graduate Benjamin Braddock is trapped into an affair with Mrs. Robinson, who happens to be the wife of his father's business partner and then finds himself falling in love with her daughter, Elaine.
Joanna is in a touring girl's choir and Mark is a struggling architect. when they first meet on the road in Europe. The film follows their life together --- through courtship and marriage, infidelity and parenthood --- all on the road in a variety of cars through a score of time-shifting vignettes. Written by
Thank God that Audrey Hepburn made this film before slipping off into an extended temporary retirement. Was she too old for this movie? Not for the segments that deal with the latter part of the married relationship. The movie spans eleven years and, yes, it is a bit of a visual stretch to see a 37 year old Audrey portraying a 22 year old college woman, but her performance throughout was nothing short of brilliant. This film was a tremendous departure for her. In Two for the Road she does not play the part of the doe-eyed delicate creature of her earlier movies. She even abandoned, reluctantly, her trademark Givenchy wardrobe to sink her teeth into a gritty, visceral part. Many critics of the time remarked on its art house appeal, due in large part to the back and forth sequence editing and the clever juxtaposition of similarities, parallels and contrasts in scenes spanning eleven years. The film must have been incredibly fresh and jarring in its day, abandoning a linear narrative approach to the history of a marriage. Even today it comes across as very "contemporary." Albert Finney delivers an equally strong performance. There is genuine chemistry between Finney and Hepburn. The viewer sees all that is wonderful and horrible about the dynamics of a couple that comes to realize that despite mutual infidelity they still love each other and belong to one another.
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