Love Cassavetes, but I'm on the fence. Its central thesis is in praise of togetherness, on how a happy family can be started from having nothing in common and from a drive that has as much to do with desperation as with love. So it's less a love story than a blind hope story, meaning that the relationship of the two leads is (probably by intent) hard to grasp. Any love they have for each other is purely theoretical.
I find it a bit far-fetched to dedicate this one to ''everyone who didn't marry the person they should have'', as only the trademark L.A. blond seemed to have settled for less here, introduced to nothing but sketchy weirdos. Still, their seemingly improvised monologues can make it a fun watch if you ignore they are nothing but violent persuasion of their forever-lost case.
Minnie and Moskowitz started off so strong (the drinking scene between Minnie and Florence alone is worth the watch) but about an hour in my tolerance for Seymour Cassel's character just completely gave out until between him and the dopey and sappy ending I just couldn't take it anymore. Despite this, the scene with Zelmo was hysterically awkward. "Look at your eyes, they're so moist!" -- a riot!
Seems to get name-dropped much less often than the rest of Cassavetes' major features, and I don't understand why; love has always been a major theme of his work and never is dealt with more directly than here. One of Cassavetes' best, warmest, and most accessible films. Needless to say Rowlands is great, as is Seymour Cassel.
As I said of "The Passion of Anna" being Bergman's "Love Story", I suppose this would do for being Cassavetes' "Love Story". This one really breaks all the primary illusions you find in romance films, from being "unlucky in love" to the ritual of "meeting of the parents." Recommended in line with "The Passion of Anna" and Kaurismaki's "Shadows in Paradise."