Documentary film-maker Bob Sanders and his wife Carol attend a group therapy session that serves as the backdrop for the opening scenes of the film. Returning to their Los Angeles home, the... See full summary »
Bohemian Alex Morrison has just finished directing his first feature length movie. In its previews, the movie is considered a critical, artistic and surefire commercial success. As such, ... See full summary »
Warren Beatty and Julie Christie had been previously offered to play Stephen and Nina Blume, when this project was in development and, for a while, they were both attached, until Beatty dropped out, convincing also then-lover and partner Christie to leave the film as well since he was supposedly too busy working on Shampoo (1975) and on the script of Heaven Can Wait (1978), which was made by them, only several years later. See more »
Misguided and Pretentious - nothing new for Mazursky
I don't really feel like writing this up, but I'll spend a few moments doing just that. Mazursky can be one of the most painfully self-indulgent filmmakers of the last 30 years, though admittedly I love a few of his films (especially HARRY AND TONTO). But more of his films are chores to get through, and pretentious ones at that. BLUME IN LOVE comes nowhere near the tedium that marks ALEX IN WONDERLAND as one of the worst studio films of the '70s, but it's still pretty lousy. Yeah, George Segal is great, and Kris Kristofferson and Susan Anspach hold up well...and actually Marsha Mason is pretty impressive, but, well, that's about it. The story is flimsy, the screenplay is mediocre...there's just not too much going on.
Thematically, the film is rich and it's interesting to see that Stanley Kubrick featured it in EYES WIDE SHUT (look close - Alice is watching it on television while she talks to Bill on the phone), especially considering the slight similarities between the protagonists of the two films...but who knows if Kubrick featured it for this reason or because he knew Mazursky from way back when (Paul appears in Stanley's first film, FEAR AND DESIRE).
BLUME IN LOVE could've been great, but Mazursky...well, it's another one of his "almost-good" films...I really think the majority of his work fails from half-assed screenplays and poor pre-planning (how else can you account for the aforementioned ALEX IN WONDERLAND)? And, oh yeah, there's that little matter of his phony art film sensibility. Stop trying so hard, Paul, you really don't need to include Fellini and Jeanne Moreau in your films (ALEX...) to show us you're above the Hollywood bulls**t. Frankly, sometimes a little Hollywood bulls**t (like a story) can work wonders.
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