Film version of the Neil Simon play has three separate acts set in the same hotel suite in New York's Plaza Hotel with Walter Matthau in a triple role. In the first, Karen Nash tries to get... See full summary »
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Film version of the Neil Simon play has three separate acts set in the same hotel suite in New York's Plaza Hotel with Walter Matthau in a triple role. In the first, Karen Nash tries to get her inattentive husband Sam's attention to spruce up their failing marriage. In the second, brash film producer Jesse Kiplinger tries to get his former one-time flame Muriel to see him for what he stands for. In the third, Roy Hubley and his wife Norma try and try to get their uncertain-of-herself daughter out of the bathroom before her approaching wedding. Written by
3 wonderful short stories are fused together in this 1971 film.
The first story, which is the best, stars Walter Matthau and Maureen Stapleton as a couple whose marriage is failing and is spending their 23rd or 24th wedding anniversary there. Stapleton is terrific here as always. She shows great depth in going from a ditsy housewife to a woman hurt by the affair her husband has been having with his secretary.
In the typical tradition of Simon, Stapleton wonders why her husband couldn't be more original since all men have affairs with their secretaries.
Matthau stars in the second story as well but this time with Barbara Harris. As a Hollywood producer, he has come to N.Y. on business but has other things on his mind such as the seduction of Harris, a housewife from N.J. that he knew years ago when he lived in Tenafly. Matthau is quite funny here with his attempt to be suave and slick. While constantly changing her times of departure, Harris is hilarious while becoming quite inebriated from the liquor that Matthau serves up. Yet, this is the weakest of the 3 stories since you can't await for that bedroom scene that invariably takes place. Guess that Harris' marriage to Larry isn't as great as she made it out to be after all.
In the 3rd segment, Matthau and Lee Grant star as a couple whose daughter is about to be married at the hotel. Trouble is she has wedding jitters so she locks herself in the bathroom. A very funny routine is establish by Matthau and Grant attempting to get her to come out and get married. It is only when her husband-to-be is summoned, he solves everything by telling her to "cool it." So, here we see the generation gap is action.
The common link in the film is room 719 where the 3 stories take place. If only the walls could talk, they'd tell you not to miss this film.
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