Three separate stories concerning relationship issues are presented, each largely taking place in suite 719 of the Plaza Hotel in New York City. In story one, suburban New Yorkers Sam and ... See full summary »
At his mother's funeral, stuffy bank clerk Henry Pulling meets his Aunt Augusta, an elderly eccentric with more-than-shady dealings who pulls him along on a whirlwind adventure as she ... See full summary »
Louis Gossett Jr.
Grandmother has nothing to say when Libby tells her that she is off to LA to look up Dad, a Hollywood screenwriter. Grandmother has been in a New York cemetery for six years and Dad has ... See full summary »
1947 in a small town in England. The war has been won two years ago, but there's still rationing of meat. When princess Elizabeth is going to marry, a group of businessmen wants to impress ... See full summary »
4 totally different and seperated stories of guests in a hotel. Maggie Smith and Michael Caine came from England to attend the Oscars; Jane Fonda came from New York, Alan Alda is her ex who lives in California; in the slapsticky part Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor and their wives come to the hotel to relax and play tennis and find there is only one room vacant; in the fourth segment Walter Matthau has come a day before his wife for his nephew's Bar Mitzvah, his brother: sends a prostitute to his room. Written by
When Herbert Ross attended the 1978 Academy Awards, he directed the arrivals sequence for this picture at the actual event. Coincidentally, Ross had two films in contention on the night, The Turning Point (1977) (11 nominations) for which he was nominated for both Best Director and Best Picture (Ross won neither) and The Goodbye Girl (1977) (5 nominations), another film written by Neil Simon which Ross had directed but was not Oscar nominated for. Ross once said: "It was so bizarre, the whole thing. I was glad to be working on the California Suite (1978) scenes. They kept my mind off the doom I knew I was going to follow. It was eerie". See more »
When Richard Pryor is on the phone with Bill Cosby during the water leak, his shirt gets wetter with each scene. However, when he gets off the phone, his shirt is completely dry. See more »
[a two-seater plane is flying over snow-capped mountains]
For heaven's sake, Wendy - look for an airport. Will you look for the airport?
Oh don't make such a fuss. Just put it down on a mountain.
What do you mean 'just put it down'? I'm lucky I can keep it up. I told you I never flew before.
Don't shout at me - I'm a first-class passenger.
You're a first class lunatic. It's all over Wendy - our relationship has a quarter of a tank to go.
Yes, but - you do love me, don't you Harold? ...
[...] See more »
In the opening credits, famous 70s artworks of British artist David Hockney are featured. The painting before Elaine May's name is entitled "Portrait of an Artist (Pool with two figures), 1972" and features a swimming pool with the Hollywood hills in the backdrop. The "two figures", both male, one swimming and the other standing over watching have been mysteriously edited out of the picture for some unknown reason. See more »
Having always felt that Neil Simon's work, though generally wonderful, can be hit and miss, California Suite seems to represent this more than any of his other pieces. Clearly he is a writer for performers and how well some of them respond here. Jane Fonda gives a remarkably assured and confident performance mixing vulnerability with stubbornness so effortlessly. Yes her segment is perhaps, stripped down, just the age old East/West Coast argument but it becomes a very human story about 2 people who were once in love. So great to see such a female character like hers on the screen and Jane Fonda is so skilled at introducing pathos whilst still being able to somewhat distance the viewer. It really is ultimately a very touching episode. The Caine/Smith segment is also tremendous fun with Dame Maggie doing her Margo Channing bit. The Oscar she won for this tributes her comic skills here which have perhaps been underused in her career. The wonderful Elaine May also stands out in a true farce with Mr Matthau but The Pryor/Cosby section is plainly, embarrassingly bad. It feels as if it was written by a poor sitcom writer and there are enoguh embarrassing sitcoms from America polluting the world's television. All in all, a very watchable film but wouldn't you just love to have the facility to edit films for your own viewing.
21 of 25 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?