Charley is a surgeon who's recently lost his wife; he embarks on a tragicomic romantic quest with one woman after another until he meets up with Ann, a singular woman, closer to his own age... 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.
A middle aged restaurateur begins to feel the desire to roam and realizes that one day each week, his mother's apartment will be empty all afternoon. He makes several attempts at seduction,... See full summary »
A man and woman meet by chance at a romantic inn over dinner. Although both are married to others, they find themselves in the same bed the next morning questioning how this could have ... See full summary »
During a high profile Mafia testimony case in California's Riverside County, a hired killer checks-in a hotel room near the courthouse while his next door depressed neighbor wants to commit suicide due to marital problems.
Henry Graham lives the life of a playboy. When his lawyer tells him one day that his lifestyle has consumed all his funds, he needs an idea to avoid climbing down the social ladder. So he intends to marry a rich woman and - murder her.
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Four totally different and separate stories of guests staying at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Maggie Smith and Michael Caine come from England to attend the Oscars; Jane Fonda comes from New York, Alan Alda is her ex who lives in California; in the slapstick part Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor and their wives come to the hotel to relax and play tennis, only to find there is only one room vacant; in the fourth segment Walter Matthau arrives a day before his wife for his nephew's Bar Mitzvah while his brother (Herb Edelman) sends a prostitute to his room. Written by
The original stage production of "California Suite" by Neil Simon, opened on April 2, 1976 at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles, and ran until June 5, 1976. The Broadway production of "California Suite" opened at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on June 10, 1976, and ran for 445 performances, until July 2, 1977. See more »
Bill Warren made a 1:30 lunch reservation for him and his ex-wife Hannah. After lunch, some time at the beach, and post-beach freshening up, Hannah says "It's 2:30; do you wanna call Jenny, or shall I?" It wouldn't be possible for all that activity to have taken place in just one hour. 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 »
Despite a talented all-star cast, "California Suite," which was based on a hit Neil Simon play, is a wildly uneven film. The episodic story traces several unrelated couples from across the U.S. that check into a Beverly Hills hotel. Like a comedic "Grand Hotel," the film cuts between the stories, although the editing makes no comments, ironic or otherwise, between the episodes. Actually, the often foolish, self-centered characters make "California Suite" more a "Ship of Fools" in the sunshine than a "Grand Hotel" under the palms. The original play was a follow-up to the more successful "Plaza Suite" and demonstrated Simon's shakier take on the West Coast than on the East. For the most part, the hotel guests speak and behave like the transplanted or visiting New Yorkers that they are.
Jane Fonda portrays the ultimate New York snob, and her bitchy banter with ex-husband Alan Alda only underscores her arrogance and intolerance of anything that exists west of the Hudson. Alda is a New Yorker's stereotype of a Californian with pastel sweaters and perpetual tan. While a few amusing lines pass between the terminally mismatched couple, Fonda and Alda's episode is more grating than funny. However, the New York couple display Noel-Coward wit in comparison to the wasted talents and misfires in the scenes that involve Richard Pryor and Bill Cosby as vacationing doctors. The premise of two couples that arrive to find a reservation for only one has promise. However, director Herbert Ross should have studied Chaplin, Keaton, and Lloyd before he devised the broad, unfunny physical stunts that will leave viewers grateful that both Pryor and Cosby survived the mess and moved on to better material.
However, the film does have some fine moments between comedic experts Walter Matthau and Elaine May. When Matthau arrives in LA a day early, his brother surprises him with a prostitute, who passes out from too much tequila and cannot be awakened in the morning. Of course, Matthau's wife, the always-delicious Elaine May, arrives, and the comedy moves into high gear. The best episode in the film, however, involves an English actress, Maggie Smith, and her bisexual husband, Michael Caine. The couple arrives to attend the Academy Awards, because Smith is a Best Actress nominee. While Smith has some of the best-written lines in the film, her role also has a depth and poignancy that goes far beyond the cardboard characters in the other episodes. Although Caine is equally fine, Smith's role is showier, and she won a deserved Academy Award for the part. The film's special irony is that the part of an Oscar-losing-actress won an Oscar for the actress who played her.
"California Suite" is one of those films in which a few superior scenes make it worthy entertainment, and the Smith-Caine episode pulls the film several notches higher than it otherwise deserves. Add the sparkling Matthau-May scenes, and there is at least one-half of a good movie. Although the Fonda-Alda episode is bearable and occasionally amusing, the Pryor-Cosby scenes are often labored and unfunny. However, with a strong finger on the fast-forward button, there is a good hour of comedy and fine performances to be had in this inconsistent film.
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