This oddity is an interesting addition to the "American suburbia" genre. The premise is so absurd, so instantly allegorical, that the appeal is pretty much immediate. Unfortunately, by the end it forces its allegorical framing to an extent it does not reach dramatically, becoming heavy-handed and stiff. Still remains somehow magical, though.
John Cheever short story is turned into this over-baked, under written Burt Lancaster vanity project. Praised in some circles as being indicative of the rotting of the American dream instead of a portrait of a delusional broken man that sometimes comes off as downright creepy (the babysitter, the young boy). Worse of all the extremely awful score by Marvin Hamlisch that is as subtle as glass breaking.
I liked this...although it had some awful music and some incredibly dated scenes and camerawork. Burt Lancaster is great as Ned, the neighbor everyone loves, who goes on a one day journey of swimming from one neighbor's pool to another and eventually all the way home. At the beginning everything seems perfect but slowly you begin to see the cracks in his facade.