A woman who's been asleep for years is part of a carnival that sells her kisses for a buck. A lonely jazz musician buys her. Once awake, the two of them and his two girlfriends hook up. But sometimes, dreams are better than reality.
A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.
A great look at the best and the worst of the 1970's.
I remember clearly seeing this film on Friday, April 13, 1979. I was trying to finish up the spring semester at college, and originally turned on the TV as background sound. But then it got and held my attention and really sucked me into the storyline and this young couple's fight to be "like normal people". This movie is apparently based on a true story of a mentally challenged couple that fought and won the right to marry. There was a movie with a similar story line that had aired just a few weeks before starring Richard Thomas and Julie Kavner.
The film shows the life of mentally challenged Roger Meyers (Shaun Cassidy) from his infancy up to the point that he marries Virginia (Linda Purl). It shows how the entire family is effected by Roger's handicap and the depression he is thrown into after being accused by a local cop for sending an obscenity-laced letter to a teenage girl, all because Roger sent her a valentine plus the fact that the mentally disabled were often considered sex fiends in those days. It turns out that a "normal" boy from school actually sent the letter.
Roger's mood improves when his parents decide to send him to an institution that believes in normalizing the mentally challenged, not warehousing them. In particular his mood improves because he meets Virginia. Their mutual crush is considered somewhat endearing until it turns to love and they talk of marriage.
What is the worst of the 70's I was talking about? Mainly it has to do with the attitude towards the mentally challenged and sex - that people believed that they are either asexual or over-sexed with no middle ground and that regardless of the cause of the retardation, they must not be allowed to reproduce. (Roger and Virginia did not have congenital retardation).
What was the best of the 70's that I saw here? That middle class people such as Roger's family could effectively deal with Roger and his needs without going broke, that the state actually offered some meaningful financial help to such families back then, and that in 1979 if Roger and Virginia had been of average IQ that they would have been able to marry and live modestly with modest jobs - not shackled with six figures of student debt and a mandatory college education in order to have that same modest lifestyle today.
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