Unassuming and single thirty-three year old Tillie Shlain is at that phase of her life of being known as a soon to be spinster if she doesn't marry soon. She isn't looking forward to ... See full summary »
Unassuming and single thirty-three year old Tillie Shlain is at that phase of her life of being known as a soon to be spinster if she doesn't marry soon. She isn't looking forward to meeting the latest in a long string of blind dates, his name being Pete Seltzer. Pete and Tillie are not a match made in heaven, he using wisecracking and constant flirtations with women to mask his own insecurities about his average looks and not wanting to deal with life head on. Despite Tillie's guard being up with regard to Pete, he is able slowly to chip away at her defenses. They do embark on a relationship which ends up in a straightforward and somewhat mutual declaration that they will get married despite their fundamental differences. But can their relationship survive these fundamental differences, which don't change during the course of their marriage, and as they deal with the terminal malignant tumor diagnosis of their nine-year old son, Robbie? Written by
If it's supposed to be serious, it gives us nothing to build on...
Walter Matthau and Carol Burnett as a married couple and it's not a comedy? I can't remember if "Pete 'n' Tillie" was advertised as such, but I can certainly believe the word-of-mouth on this was bad. The film has a washed-out sense of 'realism' as two single people meet and marry, have a child, and soon face trauma. It strives to give us sort of a day-to-day examination of married life in the suburbs, but first we need to fall in love with these characters and, despite the charisma of Matthau and Burnett, we don't. They are both brought down to scale (Burnett more fiercely than Matthau) and their comedic tics are mellowed out (Matthau plays a piano nude except for a hat, and it gets a laugh, but then it's back to business). There are colorful moments--and a surprisingly vicious/funny knock-down brawl between Burnett and Geraldine Page--but the script has nowhere to go, the possibilities far exceeding what we see on-screen. An interesting attempt, but perhaps filmmakers who live in Beverly Hills should stay out of the suburbs. ** from ****
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