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Harvey and Gillian Fairchild face a very difficult weekend. Harvey, celebrating his 60th birthday, is stressed and depressed. Gillian is awaiting the results of a throat biopsy. Their lives are further complicated by their three grown children, a ditsy neighbor, a fortune teller, and an alcoholic priest. Written by
Jeanne Armintrout <email@example.com>
"That's Life" is supposed to be a story about a man just on the other side of a middle age crisis on his way to a breakdown. It stars Jack Lemmon who plays middle aged men on their way to a breakdown better than anyone. Julie Andrews is his loving, supportive wife, who is going through a crisis of her own. Directed by Blake Edwards, I thought this movie had real potential and couldn't wait to get to the theatre to see it.
It turned out to be a painfully dull family reunion picture for the Lemmon's and Edwards'. Populated with many of the stars actual children, "That's Life" feels as though you are seeing some type of home movie. Thanks, but I'll stick with my own.
It's hard to feel compassion or sympathy with Harvey Fairchild (Lemmon), when he has a beautiful house, beautiful family that loves him, fancy suits, three martini lunches... you get the picture. But Harvey is helplessly self-centered. Oblivious to all going on around him. He cannot even be happy at the prospect of being a grandparent. Nor does he pick up the signals that his wife may be sick.
Watching Lemmon, I thought that his performance was a cross of "Days of Wine and Roses" and "Save the Tiger". It's all been done before. He is certainly not helped with a lame script by Edwards.
The only saving grace in this movie is Julie Andrews. Stoic, strong, and courageous in the face of her own problems, as well as having to be strong for Harvey. Her performance is the only well-rounded, realistic one in the film.
As for the other members of the Edwards and Lemmon families, the less said the better.
4 out of 10
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