|Index||7 reviews in total|
Louise Lasser shines fellow as Karen Valentine's fellow flight attendant and best friend. Karen's character, you see, is enjoying the ideal marriages with two men she loves and who love her devotedly --- one in Los Angeles (John Davidson) and one in London. Everything is going surprisingly well and she's feeling great until she gets pregnant. Then she needs the help and support of Louise's character. Louis's timing and reinvention of the scatterbrained stewardess takes over the film from Valentine. This says a lot because Valentine is also brilliant.
Has there ever been a cuter bigamist than Karen Valentine? Or a ditzier
best friend than Louise Lasser? And, dig the service level and the size
the planes offered on Global Airlines? How come I never fly on planes
that. Michael Anderson, Jr. is quite remarkable as Valentine's British
husband. Lou Jacobi had fun as a beleaguered waiter who cannot believe
eyes. And John Davidson is very pretty and square.
The funny thing is the story is both utterly absurd and almost plausible at the same time given the psychological make-up of Valentine's character. Valentine, by-the-way. is a surprisingly adept farceur. It's a shame she got typecast as a sweet young thing, because her talent and range exhibited are revelations to me in this sexy romp made during a wonderful time before anybody knew about AIDS.
My only complaint about this treasure of a time capsule from a bygone era is that I envy Karen Valentine's character her ability to enjoy bigamy so much. For the longest time, she gets to live my dream life, and be a wife to two hunks 6000 miles apart. Louise Lasser is a standout as her co-working stewardess and best friend. Lou Jacobi has a nice bit as a befuddled waiter. This movie reminds me of my early adulthood in the 70's, a pre-AIDS, pre-Reagan time when it was okay to enjoy life and enjoy sex. This is a superior vehicle for escape.
Karen Valentine is married to John Davidson in California and struggling artist Michael Anderson, Jr in Paris. (He was in "Dear Heart" with Glenn Ford as Angela Lansbury's son.) The story goes that he was going to jump and end it all, so she tries to help him, which in effect prompts them marrying, of course, despite the fact she's already married to John. This is a very flighty film, ironically described, didn't mean the pun, but by the way, Karen is a flight attendant and that's how she met Michael. Even when a friend tries to talk some sense into her, she admits she doesn't want to hurt either of them and why can't she keep both of them? "Just a little thing like there's a law against that," says her friend. "Besides they're never going to meet." Karen says. "No one will ever know." But then suddenly the artist has a sponsor putting on a show in San Francisco. What!! And, of course, despite the fact she tries to John out of going with her to "her Aunt's funeral," he shows up at the same hotel. Pandemonium ensues with Lou Jacobi as a waiter serving dinner in two rooms across from each other, and the lady in both looks very much alike! What a crazy film this was! Pretty enjoyable, though. Far-fetched, yes. But the actors involved make this a nice time. Coffee, tea and a wacky time with Karen Valentine is in store for you here, so get ready for anything!
My vote of 8/10 is that of a 15 year old girl - which was how old I was
the last time I saw it, on its original air date in September 1973.
There were no VHS recorders back then, so only if somebody picked it up
on a repeat showing is there likely to be a copy floating around out
Karen Valentine of Room 222 fame - she played a high school teacher so young she was often mistaken as one of the students - stars as a woman who has two husbands. Probably nobody even remembers her today, but in 1973 she was like an American Sweetheart. The first husband is in the United States - I think Los Angeles. The second husband is in London. I remember husband number one as being a bit uptight (Craig Davidson) and an M.D.. I remember husband number two as being a bit more Bohemian. I think he was an artist. How does she manage it? She is a stewardess (that's what they called flight attendants in the 1970's) with a regular run between Los Angeles and London. She finally confesses to fellow stewardess Louise Lasser, years before she was Mary Hartmann. She is really planning to let husband number two down easy, she's just waiting for him to get on his feet with his career. Then something unexpected comes up - she's pregnant. In those days all they could do is check the baby's blood type and rule someone out as a father, so there is a chance that she might never be able to rule out either of the men as dad.
I'd like to see it again for what I didn't appreciate the first time - a look at Chelsea London the way Austin Powers would have recognized it, the stereotypes about "stewardesses", the different attitudes towards sex pre-HIV, and just the less hung-up less judgmental attitudes in general that were the norms 42 years ago. I'd also like a chance to notice what I didn't notice in 1973 just because I would have considered it normal back then.
Karen Valentine is the sweetest, most bubbly, most delightful bigamist you'd ever want to meet in this TV-movie which is an utterly perfect product of its era. She has such a good heart, she marries would-be suicide Michael Anderson Jr. to stop him from jumping even though she's already married to a medical student in LA. And, she has the most incredible point of view that only Karen Valentine could pull off -- making bigamy into a good deed. And, she discovers it is possible to be happily married to two men at the same time. Of course, since it's a TV-movie, she inevitably gets caught, and then it loses just a touch of its devil-may-care magic as it winds down in somewhat predictable fashion. Still, it's a fun romp while it lasts. 8/10.
I'd like to fly in a plane anywhere near as roomy as the planes pictured in this movie. But, that's part of this one's incredible charm. Everyone is having a blast -- and in the most eccentric ways. Louise Lasser is nothing short of brilliant as Karen Valentine's co-worker. The characters are perfectly natural even while their situations get more-and-more absurd. This is a 70's TV-movie that captures perfectly the essence of the screwball comedies of the 30's and 40's, and I think, compares favorably to Nothing Sacred. Watch and enjoy!
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