This movie is a fantasy. All those women are dreams, those guys are all charming and real life just seems pushed away, they just forget about it because of the undeniable magic. Peter Bogdanovich has said it is his favourite because it was the happiest time of his life and that reflects itself very accurate on screen. So sad the whole Dorothy Stratten situation, a very cruel step to reality after the fantasy.
A movie that is in my collection. From back in the drinking days. I watched it again the other day and it might as well had been the first time. What a treat! Bogdanovich channeling Lubitsch and the comedies of Howard Hawks. A real deft film mostly about communication. Colleen Camp is doing some Rosalind Russell shit. Audrey H. has aged into wisdom. Ben Gazzara is as great a movie star as Bogart or Jean Gabin. Aces.
In fear of a confronting solitude, and of what is hiding beneath their own predictable surfaces, these people have learned to fleet from one lustful lover to another, never allowing anyone to look deeper and find "unattractiveness". They promise themselves never to fall in love, but they do every single time, and the blackness fattens underneath the thick skin whenever they "have to" leave a lover/love.
A seriously flawed film with some seriously redeeming features. All right the tone can be a bit winsome, the dialogue stilted, Gazzara a bit of a creep, the women a bit too dime-a-dozen, the country music woeful--however, the cinematography is spectacular, and the comic timing razor sharp, Ritter especially, And there are moments between Hepburn and Gazzara that are so tender, it almost feels illicit watching them.
All of the performances in this film are solid (with the possible exception of child actor, Glenn Scarpelli, but here he's at his least precocious). They're all pretty terrific. The 1980 NYC locations are compelling but the film moves too slowly (a half-hour could have been cut). It was fascinating to see the promising young DS here; her impending real-life murder only adds to the nostalgia while watching the film.
The whole Dorothy Stratten tragedy; life imitating art scenario, left this film with no chance of being seen by the masses, the studio wanted nothing to do with it. Through it all this is Peter Bogdanovich's favorite Peter Bogdanovich film, and my favorite Peter Bogdanovich film as well. John Ritter is particularly fabulous, as is Patti Hansen and of course Ben Gazzara turns in another solid performance.