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Lesley Ann Warren
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This mosaic comedy-drama tells the story of a La Ronde-like circle of romantic adventures and failed affairs centered around a songwriter named Carroll Barber and his father Carl Barber. There is a trail of Carroll's past relationship spread throughout the city of Los Angeles. Barber is an aloof womanizer who cannot commit to any relationship, and is used to illustrate the loneliness of Los Angeles big-city life. Among the women in his life are Ann Goode, a lonely real estate agent, Karen Hood, a Valley housewife addicted to taxi rides, Linda Murray, a woman prone to vacuuming in the nude and Nona Bruce, the snapshot-taking mistress of a wealthy man. Written by
If you saw this film when it came out, the cultural atmosphere would have no nostalgic impact on you, even if you lived in L.A., because it was obviously present day for you.
Which brings us to the main thing that so many of us like about the movie. We like to take in the clothes, cars, landscapes and musical vibe of a bygone era; one which we may have lived for and now long for. For younger people, there may be a fascination for the way part of the world was before they were born.
I was there in L.A. at that time. As a very wide-eyed and impressionable teenybobber, I was standing in the background watching the grown ups and the older kids living out their 70s lifestyle. I was just a tad too young to join. My favorite line in the film is "Daydreams and Traffic," uttered by Keith Carradine, repeating what his blonde real estate agent said L.A. is all about. I totally agree with that vibe. It's addictive in an odd sort of way.
Character development is vitally important to a film, and this one is short on it. For me, at some point, a character has to explain why they are the way there are. Or at least it must come out in related dialogue. It didn't here for the most part.
I say "for the most part," because we do at least see through couplings and facial expressions, and monlogues, that they are lonely people who are not getting the love and devotion they had hoped for from their life partners and families.
Yes, these are mostly shallow,self-indulgent losers, who characterize the worst aspects of their era and area. But it's o.k. to tell a story about losers, if they are the types you are familiar with. Like another reviewer, I too give the makers credit for not including movie people. That would be too easy and too clichéd.
I loved the Richard Baskin music. His slightly off-key delivery made it better than it would be if it were perfect. Songwriters are not necessarily supposed to be great singers. They sing their own stuff with true feeling however, since they know the ethos behind the music better than anyone else. Of course in this movie, maybe the Keith Carradine character was supposed to have written the music.
The nudity did nothing for me. The context was not sexy. I'm not a big fan of big boobs on a super skinny body. I like proportion.
Even though I am a conservative person, I do often wish I could have lived as an adult during a period when everyone was open to one night stands. I love the idea of bonding with a waitress and enjoying an evening together with no strings. I know that makes me a bit of a hypocrite.
I guess I envied the Carradine character's unearned millions, his cool house, his talent, and his ability to bed whomever he chose, whenever he chose. Enough said.
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