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Remake of Jules et Jim following the experiences over a decade of two friends who fall in love with the same woman, enjoyably satirising the 70's through the search by the three protagonists for their identities and making sharp attacks on cultural signposts of the decade along the way. The film also studies relationships, what its director calls "wanting something permanent yet wanting to be free". Written by
Paul Mazursky's painful misfire is reminiscent of Arthur Penn's unwieldy Four Friends. The characters are concepts, and like Michael Ontkean's Willie, the film doesn't know what it wants to be or what it's about. The film is an homage of sorts to Truffaut's Jules and Jim, but the self absorption, urban neurosis, and the philosophical and analytic dialog are more Woody Allen. In Truffaut's film the pivotal female was interesting and enigmatic, here we get distractingly thin-faced Margot Kidder as Jeanette, a simple soul and underdeveloped character, who comes between Ray Sharkey's weird, charmless Phil and Ontkean's capricious, pretentious Willie; the homosexual undertone in Willie and Phil's relationship is probably unintentional, but who knows? Mazursky pulls out all the clichés, and uses an obtrusive and gratuitous narrator. Julie Bavasso reprises her over-the-top Italian mom from Dog Day Afternoon and Saturday Night Fever as Phil's mom which partly explains why Sharkey's character is so weird.
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