Rambling and indulgent, but it does deliver some uncomfortable truths about getting older and the nature of male friendships. The sheer quality of the central performances makes this study of three deeply unlikable men far more compulsive that it otherwise might.
This was the first Cassavetes' film I have ever watched. And it was one of the worse films I've seen. Self-indulgent, pretentious, and full of annoying characters, rambling incoherent meaningless nonsense at each other. The scenes were also over-long, and the concept behind the film was handled very messily. I hope his other films are better.
Perhaps indicative of the male braggadocio from a previous era, the 'millennial' often subverts the alpha stereotype. Contemporary pansexual gender transcendence jars against the previous late 60s/early 70s masculine norms. Whether Cassavetes was acerbically deconstructing the rotten nature of aggressive masculinity or endorsed aspects of misogyny, I have yet to deduce. If so, can a genius also be a bigot?
Three Americans behaving brashly."Mr X, its time for your close-up. Again." - sometimes suffocating use of full face close-ups. Rather unclear loss of one of the three best buds to the UK towards the end. Does he think he'll more easily get away with his inclination toward domestic violence? A bit disconcerting to see Columbo letting his mullet down ...and where's his raincoat when he needs it in cloudburst London?
The spectre of mortality lurks in the shadows of this portrait of 3 men going through a collective mid-life crisis in the aftermath of their friend's death. The unblinking eye of the camera seems to penetrate into the souls of men who have reached their middle years without anything to cling to but their identities as workers, family men, and, briefly, unshackled libertines out to take comfort in life's pleasures.
Everyone always had dreams and expectations from life, and then everyone eventually realises most of these were never going to materialise. Part of the problem is even Identifying them and articulating them in the first place, and moving towards them before our body and spirit break down with inevitable age. "It's a tremendous need - an anxiety... see that's what it is, I forget".