Charlotte Rampling's Meredith is my favorite of the four main characters. Rampling has always been physically stunning, but it's her moody intellect within that keeps Meredith modern rather than a 60s icon who looks sensational in Mary Quant mini-dresses, a darker version of Julie Christie in "Darling" (a character who didn't have too much of a light side herself). Meredith is cool, in control, self-serving, brutal, and surprisingly honest about who she is. "You take me as me," she tells Jos (Alan Bates) as she cajoles him into marrying her, not so much because she's pregnant but because she's bored. It seems in Meredith's view, you can easily get rid of a pregnancy, but boredom requires more skill and is potentially a worse situation in which to find yourself. Other actresses could have successfully made Meredith a bitch, but Rampling makes her fascinating and thus strangely likable. When she exits the film, things go a bit limp, but then there's little left than to move the story to its inevitable conclusion.
Alan Bates plays Jos with such high physical and verbal energy he seems to be all the Marx Brothers rolled into one. His facial expression at the culmination of his strip during the 'I Love You' sequence suggested to me a nod to the great Harpo.
Lynn Redgrave made the role of Georgy so much her own it's difficult to believe the story that Vanessa Redgrave had been originally intended for it -- and even more difficult to imagine Vanessa playing scenes with Rampling.
The title song became a big hit at the time. In the film, the lyrics vary somewhat from the pop version, serving to set up the plot during the opening credits and then comment on its resolution at the end. In between, the song politely vanishes, leaving the classically influenced score by Alexander Faris to take over with its harpsichord riffs and its subtle playfulness. I especially liked the violin solo that accompanies the transition from orgasm to morning sickness.
The dialogue is often fast, overlapping, thrown away, or contains obscure (to me) cultural references, so it's worth enabling the English subtitles for DVD viewing. You wouldn't want to miss "Moss Bros", or Alan Bates' rapid-fire disrobing monologue, or Meredith's contempt for the concert at which she has just played violin: "Beethoven night. They're like animals."