|Index||5 reviews in total|
This poignant look at three couples in various stages of life can touch
even the most stoic of hearts. I was barely a teen when I first saw
this film, and almost 20 years later, I find it still has insight.
Within minutes you feel like these people are your life-long friends,
over for a July 4th barbecue. Single, married or divorced, many of the
themes will hit home. No glitz and glamour here, it's down to earth and
gets you thinking and reflecting on your own life decisions. And best
of all, it grows with you.
From David & Judy's reminiscing about the speech he made on their first date, to their quirky bearded philosophical neighbor, I alternated between smiles, laughs & tears by the end of it. Fans of L.A. Law will recognize Alan Rachins as a hapless husband, drowning in the mediocrity of his own life. A young Melissa Leo (Homicide:Life on the Street) plays sister to the main character's wife, Jaglom's real-life ex, Patrice Townsend. Even the soundtrack, from Astaire to Torme, lends a wonderful backdrop to the film. Henry's stream-of-consciousness style doesn't suit all tastes, but it's what I love most about his work. I'm more than happy to leave behind the super-quick cuts, special effects, plastic characters and overzealous editing of today's blockbusters to savor this delicious slice of life.
I shouldn't respond to this movie. Its a mess, technically,
structurally, intellectually... Its like a raw, unaudited page from the
diary of a heartbroken man.
And, as poetic a sentiment as that may be, it makes for a strikingly self-indulgent, meandering vanity project. But it got to me. A man loves a woman. She loves him. But she realizes she can't be happy with him. So she leaves. And he, in her absence, creates an improbable interim for them to talk, to kiss, to make love one last time. Its heartfelt enough, and odd enough, an endeavor... 7 out of 10 from me...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
At the center of this movie is David, who will make your flesh crawl.
He is whiny, icky, and creepy. He likes to wallow in his feelings, and
worse than that, he wants to share. When the movie begins, David does
not understand why his wife Judy left him and wants a divorce. We, on
the other hand, do not know how she stood it as long as she did. But
then, she is not much better than David, nor is anyone else in this
movie, and so for almost two hours we suffer through watching a bunch
of people who want to hug, feel, and communicate. By the time the movie
is over, you will want to spend time around some real men, who don't
even know what feelings are, let alone talk about them.
When the movie begins, David's wife Judy comes over to his house to sign the divorce papers. Right then, we know something is wrong with that setup. This is the sort of thing you do at your lawyer's office. In any event, David has decided that he will surprise Judy by fixing dinner for the two of them. At first we wonder why he didn't realize that she might have other plans, but we soon discover that he does not care if she does. When she finally relents and agrees to stay for dinner, she says she wants to call someone and let him know she won't be able to keep their date. But he doesn't want her to do that, because this is their special divorce dinner, and he doesn't want it spoiled by her making a phone call. Although this is incredibly selfish and immature, the movie does not want us to react to it that way. We are supposed to think it is warm and cuddly the way he wants to have their last dinner together be just so.
By the time the notary gets over to the house for the signing of the divorce papers, David and Judy are acting like two people who have just fallen in love and cannot get enough of each other, cuddling, kissing, and whispering sweet nothings. The notary tells them to think it over and leaves, figuring they really do not want to get divorced. After that, people start showing up at David's house for one reason or another, culminating in a barbecue on the Fourth of July, and we get to witness the many different ways people can be obnoxious, blathering pop-psychology and superficial philosophy.
The only good thing about this movie is that it is just a movie, because if you have ever had the misfortune to wind up around a bunch of people like that, you know that they want you to discuss your feelings too. And in this regard, they are relentless and will not be denied. But the only feeling you have is that of being violated.
Jaglom's personal diary on marital relationships. Watch this with a partner and then compare notes. Be warned - this film could start up divorce procedures! But you'd be amazed how frank this technical messy and poorly edited film can be!
I had to fast forward through this movie more often than not. The lead characters were very unappealing and whiny. And I do mean whiny-- for example the lead character in so many words continually says throughout the movie, why why why do you want to leave me. Geez, get a life already. The support characters were much more interesting and for that reason earned this movie a 4.
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