A seminal Thirty-Something movie in which a group of old college friends who are now older and experienced come together for the funeral of Alex, who was at one time the brightest and the best of them at college and yet who never managed to find his way. The friends use the occasion to reacquaint themselves with each other, discuss where their lives have led and speculate on what happened to their idealism which had been abundant when they were younger.Written by
Mark Thompson <email@example.com>
As the movie opens an older couple is walking up to the church, but both were clearly standing still arm in arm until they got their [late] cue to walk. See more »
Where did Alex's hope go? Maybe that is the small resolution we can take from here today. To try to regain that hope that must have eluded Alex.
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Other scenes cut/altered for the Network version:
Michael unpacking condoms was cut.
The shot of Sarah in the shower was an alternate angle, and it is also reframed.
The entire scene late at night on the first night with Sam, Nick, and Richard not being able to sleep was cut.
The scene with Sarah talking on the phone to her daughter, and remarking "I can't believe what I hear myself say!" was cut.
The scene with Sam and Karen in the grocery store was cut. Because of this, to save the continuity, the second scene of Meg and Sarah in the kitchen is shown in the place of the grocery store scene, instead of being between the outdoor scene with Harold and Michael and the scene with Chloe and Nick in the cabin.
Michael's line, "Outside is just one big toilet" is cut, as is him zipping up just before he says this.
Sam saying "Jesus" after everyone goes to the living room to watch JT Lancer is cut.
The last part of the sequence where everyone clears the table while dancing to "Aint to Proud to Beg", with Sam talking in the dining room, was cut.
Most of the jogging scene with Sam, Nick, and Harold is cut. It goes from the shot of the sunrise to the door closing on the van.
The Second half of the scene with Sam and Karen on the dock was cut-the scene ends with Karen saying "It's not like talking to you".
While arguing over the football play, Sam says "What the hell are you talking about!" rather than "What the fuck are you talking about!".
Harold tells the cop to "Beat the hell out of" Nick rather than "Beat the shit out of" him. Later in that same scene, Harold says "I don't need this, Nick" rather than "I don't need this shit".
At the dinner table, in the original, Sarah said "Jesus, even fortune cookies are getting cynical!". In the TV print, the word "Jesus" is muted.
Meg says "I feel stupid in ten different ways" rather than "I feel shitty in ten different ways".
The shot of Harold and Meg having sex on the bed was deleted, as was the shot of Sam and Karen making out on the ground outside.
an intelligent and sensitive script for a talented cast
Reunions of former college mates can be an enthusiastic, but also dramatic experience, mainly when you have shared with your now adult friends great ideals in a better and just world, and all those ideals have been abandoned in favour of professional careers and wealthy lives and, moreover, when the only mate who has faced the unfillable gap between the ideal and the real has just committed suicide and thus caused that same reunion.
Single sense of more or less pretended personal self-fulfilment, but hiding a dramatic sense of disillusionment, is rendered through noteworthy dialogues: intelligent, witty, ironical, sensitive and deep. Each protagonist will have to take off his/her mask, and show himself/herself for what he/she is now: the easy and devouring enthusiasm of those, not so distant, at least chronologically, but mentally and emotionally buried times cannot be acted for long. The only form of consolation, a very significant one, actually, is the possibility to share this sense of disillusionment, and the understanding that the only way out of personal dramas is communing with others.
Evidently, the actors, nowadays known as talented performers, but not so famous in 1983, are more than good. Not to mention the soundtrack, which contributes strongly to the emotional impact of the movie and makes one feel like rediscovering the great and out of time hits of the 60's, 70's. A cult and must see movie.
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