Excellent, grown-up drama with marital issues still relevant today...
Hope Lange plays a 36-year-old wife and homemaker who is tired of getting the short end of the stick from her workaholic husband and three children; she opts to move out, but quickly learns that independence is a double-edged sword. Effective, moving TV-made drama which allows all the characters to thoughtfully speak their piece. Husband Earl Holliman makes some valid points on his wife (reminding her the car she drove off in was paid for by him...and what exactly would the consequences be if he got disgusted and ran away?). Lange lands a good job a little too easily, and she's welcomed into a friend's home a bit too freely, although her dates with a committed bachelor (Michael Murphy, later the cad-husband in 1978's "An Unmarried Woman") are relatively free of histrionics. Hope Lange is a marvelous, natural actress who doesn't go in for a lot of pathos; her character is grounded, honest, determined, and strong. When she has to break an engagement because her daughter is sick, she does so matter-of-factly, telling her date, "Call someone else. Just because I can't go doesn't mean you shouldn't go." Holliman, too, is very strong as the spouse who can't let a dig at his wife slip passed. But he learns to think before he speaks, and so do the kids (everyone grows up a little). An intuitive and worthwhile film, more real than "The Happy Ending" and far less ponderous.
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