It's the morning after John and Mary's first sexual encounter with each other, which took place in his New York City loft apartment. They had only met for the first time the previous evening at a crowded trendy pick-up bar. They are both uncomfortable with the situation but don't want to show that discomfort to the other. They both realize that they don't know anything substantial about the other - including not even knowing each other's name - as each tries through whatever secret means to find out with who he/she just slept. As they slowly find out more about the other, they inject their own perception into the information, which is sometimes not quite reality. Over the next few hours, they, together and individually, will try to determine if there is any potential future for them, which includes their thoughts about the current most significant other in their respective lives, one who is more significant than the other, and their feelings about what they think the other person is ... Written by
I don't want anymore to do with it. Not with jealousy, competition, the sound of bugles when we're all meant to line up for battle. When the bugle blows, I want to go home quietly. Lock the door, take off the telephone. I'll wash my hair, watch the saturday night movie and go to bed with a plate of cornflakes. I can do that most efficiently. I can vanish.
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"It's Not Your Mother's Love Story," the ads for "John and Mary" proclaimed, and I suppose that back in 1969, such indeed was the case. Telling the story of a one-night stand and the rainy day after, as the couple in question gets to know one another in the guy's spacious apartment at 52 Riverside Drive (in actuality, a 15-floor, redbrick building at 78th St. whose asking price today must be astronomical!), the film certainly must have engendered some controversy, back when. Fortunately, this sweet, realistic, adult slice of life, though certainly a product of its time, is not as dated as one might expect, and the tentative, uncertain steps that John and Mary (whose names we never know until the picture's final moments) take when learning about each other should seem familiar to even Gen Y'ers. This process of discovery is accomplished mainly through talk, but the viewer gets to know the two characters even better, via flashbacks, fantasy sequences and their voiced-over thoughts. In the leads, Dustin Hoffman and Mia Farrow are quite fine, and director Peter Yates brings his picture in with great sensitivity. The trio had recently participated in three enormously successful films--"The Graduate," "Rosemary's Baby" and "Bullitt," respectively--and while "John and Mary" is certainly a smaller film than those others, it is still of great interest. Hoffman and Farrow were immensely ingratiating screen presences at this early stage of their careers, and their unique pairing here makes this film something special. And speaking of early-career performances, "John and Mary" also features Tyne Daly, Cleavon Little and Olympia Dukakis, all in small but amusing parts. Anyway, it is my feeling that viewers of this film will gradually come to really like John and Mary, and root for them as a couple, and wish them many more nights together....
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