Junie Moon's face has been disfigured by ill-gotten burns, and depends on her friends and her wit to cope. She, Warren, and Arthur leave the hospital - they yearn for independence - and ... See full summary »
Junie Moon's face has been disfigured by ill-gotten burns, and depends on her friends and her wit to cope. She, Warren, and Arthur leave the hospital - they yearn for independence - and find a house to live in. Together they stumble into adventures involving the local fish vendor, nosy neighbors, surreptitious vacations, love, and frustration in finding jobs as they face subtle prejudices in their community, and their own particular medical problems. Written by
Ed Sutton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This movie may not be on a list somewhere of Liza Minnelli's best films or Otto Preminger's or one of Kay Thompson(Liza's Godmom)or James Coco's best efforts. I do think it ranks high on a list of one of the best movies about introverts ever made. That it wasn't a box office or critical success doesn't matter. Nor that it did nothing to advance the careers of anyone connected to it.
But I think TELL ME THAT YOU LOVE ME, JUNIE MOON deserves a special place with audiences who love quirky movies that go where other movies dare not go. Think of Altman's BREWSTER McCLOUD or Hal Ashby's HAROLD AND MAUD, for instance. Movies that deal with characters most others would call misfits because they are different or eccentric.
One, for example, is a gay man. For a 1970 film, this is rare to say the least. But to make him a disabled gay man trapped in a wheel chair due to an accident is a revelation. I can't imagine another such character either before or since this film came along. Another revelation is a disfigured woman, played by Minnelli, and not seen on the screen in a leading role since Joan Crawford in Cukor's A WOMAN'S FACE. Both of these characters completely dominate JUNIE MOON. They are truly amusing in using their wit to cope with an unkind world. The third eccentric is an epileptic, played by Ken Howard. His performance is the weakest of the three and this, unfortunately, weakens the overall impact. Had this part been cast better, honors would have come its way to be sure. The scene where the handicapped guy can't negotiate the smallness of his bathroom is a gem. Another is the vacation scene where these three descend on a hapless hotel staff. Another where a naive woman is seduced by three hunky members of an art colony is captivating.
This movie sparked controversy because of a scene where two people are having sex in a cemetery. A real graveyard is used and relatives of the dead buried there balked and so a lawsuit ensued. But knowing this to be an Otto Preminger film...that is not so strange(recall THE MOON IS BLUE and MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM). Preminger ate up such controversy. No doubt such headlines added to his film's box office. JUNIE MOON is his weirdest movie, but far from his worst. None of the films after this one are even half as good. Even Saul Bass, whose title drawings are a trade mark for Preminger films, excels in it.
Judy Garland died while Liza was filming her part in this. A year later she began work on her greatest role, that of Sally Bowles in Fosse's CABARET. While both her roles in these films are about introverted and unstable vulnerable women...CABARET is the first where she gets to show her strongest suit: that of a musical performer whose star power is as good as her mother's. Her work in CABARET solidified her image as a singer and dancer the way FUNNY GIRL did it for Streisand. While TELL ME THAT YOU LOVE ME, JUNIE MOON may not be legendary, it still boasts having a legend in it.
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