In an era in which consistent visual style seems perhaps too uniformly held as the prerequisite of the valorized auteur, one can all too easily understand why Robert Mulligan’s work has failed to evince any passionate critical interest. His films all look so different; for instance, To Kill a Mockingbird , with its black-and-white measured pictorialism; Up the down Staircase , photographed on location with a documentary graininess; The Other , with its heightened Gothic expressionism rather conventional to the horror genre, if not to Mulligan’s previous work; and The Summer of ‘42 , with a pastel prettiness that suffuses each image with the nostalgia of memory. If some would claim this visual eclecticism reflects the lack of a strong personality, others could claim that Mulligan has too much respect for his material to impose arbitrarily upon it some monolithic consistency and instead brings to his subjects the sensibility of a somewhat self-effacing Hollywood craftsman. Yet there are… read more
Feels very stage-like? Because it is adapted from a stage play, and the film does seem to poise itself as a "101 Stage-to-Screen Adaptation". Nevertheless, the treatment never fails to enhance the charm of both leads, who carry this film with their irresistible charisma. Both Ellen Burstyn and Alan Alda slips into their characters with acute comic timing and big hearts that make us rooting only for more.