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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
This film was made and released about four years after its source novella "Witch's Milk" by author Peter de Vries was first published in 1968. See more »
The song Strangers In The Night, first recorded in 1966, is heard on a jukebox in a scene set several years earlier. See more »
I wasn't looking forward to this party - or meeting Pete Seltzer. But when you've reached my age and your friends are beginning to worry about you, blind dates are a way of life.
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Walter Matthau and Carol Burnett are Pete and Tillie. They meet each other in their middle aged years. Pete is a smarmy rogue who likes Tillie, but has a smug way of showing it. Tillie feels that he is a bit of a dog himself, but she knows that she can't get anyone better than him. The courting of their relationship takes up about half of the film with a few dry laughs. Matthau delivers his lines so naturally, you know that if he was to do drama, it could only be tragicomedy. Burnett does well in a serious role and has one cathartic scene as she curses God for the loss of her 9 year old son. She has a wild fight scene with Geraldine Page that's pretty humorous. Only a small part of this story is dedicated to their parenthood as they soon learn their son is diagnosed with a terminal illness. The son dies. Tillie mourns. Pete takes it just limp. Not much emotion is shown in his performance , which I felt was understated correctness. Pete and Tillie soon separate and divorce amicably. It seems sad, but it's simply a slice of life look at two ordinary people who really don't have much in common. I like the concept that these old 70's Hollywood movies had in that they don't stress that all leading couples have to be beautiful or even attractive. Burnett and Matthau had their own charisma, which was shown in their talent. This is not a great film, but it's worth a look for innocuous entertainment.
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