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Love Streams (1984)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  24 August 1984 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 1,963 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 26 critic

Two closely bound, emotionally wounded siblings reunite after years apart.

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Title: Love Streams (1984)

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Sarah Lawson
...
Robert Harmon
...
Susan
...
Jack Lawson
Margaret Abbott ...
Margarita
Jakob Shaw ...
Albie Swanson
Eddy Donno ...
Stepfather Swanson
Joan Foley ...
Judge Dunbar
Al Ruban ...
Milton Kravitz
Tom Badal ...
Sam the lawyer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Julie Allan ...
Charlene
Doe Avedon ...
Mrs. Kiner
Frank Beetson ...
Cashier
Neil Bell ...
The Dog Man
...
Taxi Driver
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Storyline

The film describes a few days in the life of the writer Robert Harmon and his sister Sarah. The decadent life of Robert is made of alcohol, cigarettes, and short-time relationships with women; women he interviews for a book, he spends a weekend with at a casino or fall in love with for the fun of an evening. Having no constraints, he his unable to be responsible for anything including the care of his son, leaving him alone in an hotel room and teaching the 12-years old boy how to drink. His life is made of his own phantasms as an artist. His sister is divorcing from her husband because of her exuberant and insane behavior. She scares her daughter Debbie who prefers to stay with her father, a decision that hurts Sarah very deeply and reinforces her nervous breakdown. Most of the movie takes place in the house of Robert. We watch Robert and Sarah struggling with their own lives. As the movie progresses, the house gets empty little by little... Written by Cyril Aubaud (cyril_aubaud@yahoo.fr)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 August 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amantes  »

Company Credits

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 »
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Color:

(Metrocolor)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The eleventh feature film directed by John Cassavetes. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 40 mins) The camera crew can be seen clearly behind the taxi when Sarah brings the animals home to her brother. See more »

Quotes

Robert Harmon: You talked to him or you dreamt this?
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User Reviews

 
Deal...
19 February 2008 | by (Argentina) – See all my reviews

Firstly, it's not easy to have the full understanding of the cinematographic universe that John Cassavetes has. To take a stage play by Ted Allan and to co-write a script and create something that looks like everything but something you can imagine on a theater stage. In "Opening Night", almost everything occurred on the stage; here we have cities, we have bars, we have houses and, of course, people…Real people.

I don't know if it makes any good to write long reviews about every Cassavetes' film. He pursued a style, he conquered it and he maintained it while dealing with different topics. "Love Streams" is the story of two brothers, Robert and Sarah (Cassavetes and his eternal muse Gena Rowlands), and some days they spend together.

Like in the best movies, there's room for the viewer to draw conclusions. When Sarah knocks at Robert's door, it appears that they haven't seen each other for a long time; but we don't really know. When Robert receives his son (Jakob Shaw), the house is full of women and it appears that he doesn't care about the kid, but we don't really know; we also never fully understand the nature of Robert's work as a writer, meaning that we know he writes novels but the house full of women and the process he uses to create remains widely unexplained. When Robert interviews a singer he thinks is beautiful, it appears that he cares about her, but we don't really know.

All these situations are not as simple as they sound; they're constant subjects in the film's two and half hours duration time. The same happens with the Rowlands character; a woman who loves his family but seems to be loosing them. There's a scene in which Sarah, her daughter Debbie (Risa Blewitt) and her husband Jack (Seymour Cassel) sit together to review the divorce papers and suddenly the little girl stands up and tells her mother: "I want to go with daddy".

Sarah reacts as an unstable woman would do, and there are many moments in the film where we see this characteristic (we even witness a short but honest visit to a psychiatrist). However, her problem is not completely detailed and we have to figure it out through the same process we use to study Robert and every other character.

This is what Cassavetes does. He puts the viewer to work. He presents the characters, he lets us know what we could normally see with a camera (Al Ruban's beautiful and observing camera, in a very similar style to "Opening Night"): the outside. The rest? Well, it's real life and people deal with it as it comes.

In "Love Streams" you also have to deal with it. Deal with the things the characters are dealing with. It's not like you've never been involved with a movie character.


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