Documentary film-maker Bob Saunders and his wife Carol attend a group therapy session that serves as the backdrop for the opening scenes of the film. Returning to their Los Angeles home, ...
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Alan J. Pakula
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Documentary film-maker Bob Saunders and his wife Carol attend a group therapy session that serves as the backdrop for the opening scenes of the film. Returning to their Los Angeles home, the newly "enlightened" couple chastise their closest friends, Ted and Alice, for not coming to grips with their true feelings. Bob insists that everyone "feel" rather than intellectualize their emotions, and Carol pronounces "that's beautiful" after anyone says anything even remotely personal. Ted and Alice humor their friends, but it is obvious that there is a good-natured sexual tension at work within the foursome. Written by
I rented this movie because I remembered one scene from 35 years ago. I was astounded to see that the whole movie holds up very well. The 4 leads are terrific (Natalie Wood and Dyan Canon are beautiful, by the way, and Robert Culp hits just the right note with his "sensitive-new- age-guy" hip/naive performance) and you can see director Paul Mazursky's touch with what seems to be stretches of impromptu dialog I found true.
The movie also does a great job of balancing drama with farce, superficiality with intimacy.
The scenes at the Esalen-type retreat start at as spoof but evolve into real empathy. Parenthetically, check out the fashions in this film. There is one scene in a discotheque that Mazursky must have known even then would be a source of laughter and certainly, today, it's a hoot.
29 of 34 people found this review helpful.
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