Reviews written by registered user
|3 reviews in total|
This film did not do well on release but I've just watched it again twenty five years later and it is a solid film on a number of accounts. A poignant story which, while not that original, keeps its momentum. The juxtaposition of Jonah Levin's (Paul Simon's) enthusiasm along with his band works great, contrasted with the tedium and frustration of his life. If you want to see great work in small roles, check out Joan Hackett's character (Joan died before she was 50 of ovarian cancer - a real loss). The "dead musicians" contest may be dated now but it gives a worthy glimpse into road life. Simon is believable and little Michael Pearlman is wonderful. There's also a small role at the beginning with Daniel Stern as a Hare Krishna airport devotee. And did I mention that the music still holds up?
Let's begin by declaring that you do not need to be a Woody Allen fan
to appreciate this film. As is often the case, Allen's schlemiel
character is the least sympathetic and interesting one in the movie.
But that aside, here's a story that I found thoroughly engaging. Is there a perfect crime? Is guilt the same as remorse? How does a "good" person come to terms with his sins?
The blind Rabbi: Is God unseeing? The Holocaust survivor philosopher who challenges survival (that's all I can say without spoiling): is there any real redemption?
The movie has flaws but I give it a "10" for daring to ask serious questions. (And the visit to the old house in Brooklyn has a dynamism that all of us who remember our childhood homes will relate to.)
I rented this movie because I remembered one scene from 35 years ago. I
was astounded to see that the whole movie holds up very well. The 4
leads are terrific (Natalie Wood and Dyan Canon are beautiful, by the
way, and Robert Culp hits just the right note with his "sensitive-new-
age-guy" hip/naive performance) and you can see director Paul
Mazursky's touch with what seems to be stretches of impromptu dialog I
The movie also does a great job of balancing drama with farce, superficiality with intimacy.
The scenes at the Esalen-type retreat start at as spoof but evolve into real empathy. Parenthetically, check out the fashions in this film. There is one scene in a discotheque that Mazursky must have known even then would be a source of laughter and certainly, today, it's a hoot.