Having discovered that she is pregnant, Natalie Ravenna (Shirley Knight), a Long Island housewife panics and leaves home to see if she might just possibly have made something different out ... See full summary »
Having discovered that she is pregnant, Natalie Ravenna (Shirley Knight), a Long Island housewife panics and leaves home to see if she might just possibly have made something different out of herself; if she can manage to unshackle her grocery list worth of responsibilities that add up to a life with a husband she loves. In a motel room where Natalie stops to rest during the day, she sits motionless on the bed, and experiences the exuberance of complete freedom and the queasy feelings of new beginnings. Natalie continues on with her journey and picks up a young hitch-hiker -Killer (James Caan), an attractive brain-damaged football player. It is through Killer that poses a more disturbing question to Natalie than that of domestic responsibility. How deeply are we wedded to chance meetings and are we responsible for the crimes that we witness? Written by
This early Coppola work is overlong and erratic, but it is not devoid of praiseworthy qualities. The cinematography is excellent and the characters are memorable. James Caan is very convincing as the mentally handicapped hitchhiker. Also, because this film was shot on location all over the Eastern U.S., it offers an interesting, authentic look at America in the late 1960's. The title phrase does not have a significant meaning in the overall story, but only comes up during a conversation between the two lead characters (Caan and Shirley Knight). The way Coppola develops the characters by using short, dream-like flashbacks is very clever. In general, this film is not in the same class as Coppola's later work, but it's a solid character-driven story.
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