Saturday, February 25, 2012

The End of the Affair

Year 4, Day 56 - 2/25/12 - Movie #1,056

BEFORE: The last film in my 4-day Julianne Moore chain, and appropriately titled for the last film on the infidelity theme (I think...).  I'm getting my posting done early today since it's a big weekend, not just the Oscars on Sunday, but also later today I'm going to a beer and food festival called A-Pork-alypse Now.  Should be a good time.

Though my film is set in London, TCM's focus is on California today, and I've already seen "Bullitt" and "The Maltese Falcon".  I'm going to pick up "East of Eden" and "The Grapes of Wrath", two films about California farms.  This means I've got to pass on "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner", "Bound for Glory", "Harry and Tonto" and "The Stunt Man".  It's tough, but I had to prioritize.

THE PLOT:  Novelist Maurice Bendrix has a chance meeting with Henry Miles, husband of his ex-mistress Sarah, who abruptly ended their affair two years before. Bendrix's obsession with Sarah is rekindled.

AFTER: I admit, I've seen parts of this film before - but really, only the naughty bits.  Figured I should probably see the film around those parts.

I don't have any knowledge of the novel this is based on, but I'm betting the book was put together better.  I've got major problems with the structure of this film, since events are seen mainly out of order, and that always bothers me.  In this instance it has the added benefit of slowly revealing the story to the audience, but that's a poor excuse.  If you can't tell me the story in a linear fashion, I'm betting it's not a very interesting one.  

In addition to jumping around in time, from 1946 to 1941 to 1944 and back again, there's also another cardinal no-no - a flashback within a flashback.  The whole thing is framed by a novelist typing up the story - so we see the events in the order he wants to talk about them, but that puts the heavy burden on me to keep track of what happened when, and honestly that's asking a lot.  We even see the same event twice, from two different characters' points of view - I'd label that as lazy storytelling if we didn't learn more about the situation the second time around.

There are also bits that I thought were overly complex - a character hiring a detective to follow someone who he's also meeting for drinks seems a bit like overkill.  And allowing the detective to give him a full report on that meeting when he was also RIGHT THERE seems completely unnecessary - unless he was testing the detective's powers of observation, which I guess is possible.  But if his skills are better, why does he need to hire a detective?

But the film does do a good job of getting inside its characters' heads, which as I've seen in the last week, isn't always easy.  There is a lot of "WHY" here - why does a person cheat, why does a person fall out of love with a partner, why does a person forgive someone for their infidelity.  And once the affair is out in the open, how do people still get along and deal with each other in a rational fashion?  Here, it seems to be because they're British, and very proper, and to yell and accuse and blame seems oh, so very common.

NITPICK POINT: The main character says that he hates God as much as he would if God existed.  Well, if God is imaginary, how can he hate him?  By hating him, he has to acknowledge him, which is contradictory.  Unless he was referring to God as a concept, but I don't think he was.

Also starring Ralph Fiennes (last seen in "Clash of the Titans"), Stephen Rea (last seen in "Michael Collins"), Ian Hart (ditto), Jason Isaacs (last seen in "Green Zone").

RATING: 4 out of 10 surveillance photos

Friday, February 24, 2012


Year 4, Day 55 - 2/24/12 - Movie #1,055

BEFORE: Another Julianne Moore film tonight, with more mistrust and infidelity, from the looks of things.  This is the only film on my schedule this week that was NOT Oscar-nominated in some fashion.

TCM's itinerary today covers Australia with "Captain Fury" and "The Sundowners", before moving on to Arizona and New Mexico for "Arizona", "In Old Arizona", "The Harvey Girls" and "Them!".  I'm going to pick up "The Andromeda Strain" (to pair with "Logan's Run") and "Bless the Beasts and the Children" (to pair with "Born Free"), but I've seen both films before, so they don't affect my count.  But I will be adding two more films tomorrow.

THE PLOT: A doctor hires an escort to seduce her husband, whom she suspects of cheating, though unforeseen events put the family in danger.

AFTER: I know I'm getting close to the end of February, with just 5 or 6 films left on the list that can qualify as romances - and then the whole genre is gone, much like horror films.  The infidelity films are starting to get to me - I had the dream last night where I was breaking up with someone, though it was combined with the recurring dream where I'm setting up a booth at Comic-Con.  I can't recommend that anyone do those two activities at the same time.

Tonight's film hinges on deception - one assumes that if a husband is having an affair, he would take great pains to hide it.  But then, how does a wife distinguish that from his everyday behavior?  It's an ongoing problem and an unanswerable question - so rather than confront the problem directly, people look for changes in routine, little lies that might be hiding bigger lies, text messages, secretive phone calls, etc.

(ASIDE: It's like this pain I have in my side.  No, not a figurative one, a literal pain in my side, like a pulled muscle or something.  How am I supposed to know when it's just a meaningless ache, and when it could signify some larger internal problem?  At 43, I've gotten used to minor back pain, leg pain, etc. and I hate going to the doctor only to have him say that's it to be expected at that age, especially with the extra weight I'm carrying around, and by the way, I really should be eating more salad.)

In this film, we see a husband who is older, acts distant and might be on the verge of a midlife crisis - plus he's a professor, so he's around young female students, and he tends to flirt with waitresses and women in cafes.  So his wife starts to wonder about his fidelity, and hires an escort to approach him.  Because there's no possible way that scenario can spiral out of control....

And because she NEEDS to know, she requires updates from the young attractive escort, and because she's been neglected, she comes to regard these reports as the only way she can still feel close to her husband (though it seems to me there would be simpler solutions for this), so a seductive, destructive relationship begins to develop between the wife and the escort.  It's like a very messed-up three-way (again, it seems there's an easier way to achieve this...).

Without giving it away, the ending seems like a cop-out.  A tried-and-true method of wrapping things up, but it makes me feel that a more difficult resolution could have been more interesting.  And I feel the film ending up trodding the same ground as thrillers like "Fatal Attraction" and "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle", when it seemed at the start it would be more relationship-based than action-based.

As a point of fact (not really a nitpick point), the wife here is also a gynecologist.  I suppose there's an important distinction between doctor-patient contact and sexy-time contact, but still - it's sex-adjacent contact with other people on a daily basis.  And she seems to have such a cavalier attitude about sex when talking with her patients, yet she takes it so personal when she suspects her husband is cheating, so it seems like a bit of a disconnect.

Also starring Liam Neeson, Amanda Seyfried, Max Thieriot.

RATING: 5 out of 10 text messages

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Kids Are All Right

Year 4, Day 54 - 2/23/12 - Movie #1,054

BEFORE: This time Julianne Moore carries over - she'll be sticking around for a couple more days, I think. (Let's hope...)  Also, the lesbian theme carries over - why, it's just what this blog needs, more lesbians!  Always sure to increase the hit count...

I'm guessing I'm in L.A. tonight, but the TCM world tour is covering the South Seas, and southeast Asia.  I'm passing on "Mister Roberts" and "The Year of Living Dangerously", and I've already seen "The Bridge on the River Kwai", but I am picking up "Mutiny on the Bounty", both the 1935 and the 1962 versions.  I should be able to work those in with other sea-faring films, like some notable upcoming pirate-based ones.

THE PLOT: Two children conceived by artificial insemination bring their birth father into their family life.

AFTER: You know, some people are a bit surprised when they learn I'm for gay rights, especially if they know about my history.  But it just seems simple - gay people should have the same rights to get married and get on each other's nerves as straight people do.  Otherwise, it just doesn't seem fair, to them or me.  I'm for gay marriage, as long as there's gay divorce, gay custody battles, etc.

But this is the right way for a film to foster the liberal agenda - don't shove the gay rights thing down our throats (sorry, bad turn of phrase there) but instead show gay people who are regular folks - meaning they have similar hang-ups, similar faults.  They're human, they make mistakes.  We the audience can extrapolate from there.  By showing gay people acting "normal", it's actually quite a bit more subversive, in its own way.

This film from just last year shows the effects on a two-mom family when the kids take the initiative and contact their sperm-donor father.  (One of the cable channels ran a show last year on a man who was a long-term donor, who turned out to have, like 85 it's odd, but it does happen)  The kids meet their father, and then once the moms learn about this, they want to do the same.

The relationship between the two women is in a vulnerable state, simply (one assumes) because they've been together so long - and as we've seen, familiarity breeds contempt, or at least boredom.  And boredom leads to fantasy, fantasy leads to curiosity, which leads to infidelity.  Putting gender aside, it just reinforces that relationships are hard, and demand some effort.

I won't spoil the twists and turns, though if you read any reviews or saw any trailers for this last year, you probably already know some of them.  But I found this to ring pretty true-to-life, and a good mix of groundbreaking subject matter with an inherent universality.  Certainly better than some of this week's earlier movies.

Also starring Annette Bening (last seen in "The Siege"), Mark Ruffalo (last seen in "54"), Josh Hutcherson (last seen in "Cirque du Freak"), Mia Wasikowska (last seen in "Amelia').

RATING: 5 out of 10 organic cucumbers

EDIT: Upon further reflection, I realize that the film may not have gone far enough in explaining the WHY of the situations depicted.  So like last night's film, it's also (somewhat less) guilty of not getting into its characters' heads.  I think I can spot the reasons given for the infidelity - as a combination of neglect in the marriage plus a personal connection with another person.  But she re-connects with her partner - WHY?  What steps were taken, what reasons for being sorry, for being forgiven?

Where "The Hours" contained forced cause and effect, this film is all cause, no effect.  What happened between the teenage daughter and her male friend?  Are we just not going to follow up on things?  What are the long-term implications for the family, after it got shaken up?  It's a less egregious set of plot-based sins, but I still feel the need to acknowledge them.  The rating stands.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Hours

Year 4, Day 53 - 2/22/12 - Movie #1,053

BEFORE: Meryl Streep carries over this time - and I'm realizing that I didn't just program an Oscar-winning film for this coming Sunday, I pretty much programmed Oscar-winning or Oscar-nominated films all week, with one exception.  Must have been kismet, starting with Liz Taylor's two Oscar wins for "BUtterfield 8" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf"?  Tonight's flick also won the Best Actress Oscar - but since it's about suicides (and hopefully, relationships as well) my chick-flick meter is on high alert.

I'm a little all-over-the-map today (will explain later), but TCM is firmly planted in Washington, DC, with films like "Born Yesterday", "Dr. Strangelove" (seen it), "Strangers on a Train" (I've tabled Hitchcock for now), "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" (seen it), and "All the President's Men" (ditto).  I'm picking up "Logan's Run", set in Washington in the future, but I've seen it before so it doesn't affect my count.  However, I'm adding 2 films to the list tomorrow, so progress negated again.

THE PLOT: The story of how the novel "Mrs. Dalloway" affects three generations of women, all of whom, in one way or another, have had to deal with suicide in their lives.

AFTER: This is why I like to stay up late and post to the blog at 3 am, directly after the end of each film - because if I wait until the following afternoon, I lose a great deal of insight.   I know I had some valid points I wanted to make - but remembering them is going to be the trick.

This is one of those "important" feeling movies, but the danger with them is sometimes telegraphing their own self-importance too greatly, and stumbling into bloated self-indulgence.  Can someone possibly tell me this isn't what happened here?

I admit I'm not familiar with the storyline of "Mrs. Dalloway", but I looked it up on Wikipedia while watching this film.  Was that wrong - should I have paid more attention?  I get the feeling they were ALMOST going for an "Adaptation" vibe with the Meryl Streep storyline, since her real-world life seems to mimic the plot of the Virginia Woolf novel - down to the first names of the characters, and some of the key events.  So, should I be questioning what is real and what is fiction?

No, I think that would be giving the film too much credit, and too much power.  I'm willing to chalk all that up to coincidence.  Coincidence seems to be the key factor here - since it also seems a coincidence that the star of the 1950's segment is also reading the same novel on the day that we see her.  We actually see a typical (?) day in the course of three women's lives, the third being Ms. Woolf, the author herself.

The actual thread that ties two of the segments together, when finally revealed, was a bit unexpected, I'll admit.  Thematically, however, the segments are linked by suicide (real or attempted), depression, and lesbianism (repressed or expressed).  Make of the connections what you will - but some of the themes certainly don't dispel the middle-American image of Hollywood as a bastion of liberalness.  Let's throw in stuff about AIDS, lesbian mothers, etc. etc. to make things seem more important.

That said, the movie seems desperately to want us to get inside the heads of these three main characters, but unfortunately does not get around to supplying the tools for us to do that with.  OK, she's depressed - but WHY?  Or do you not know?  Isn't that your job, Mr. (or Ms.) screenwriter, to supply insight?

As a rule, I tend to hate these films where the timeline is split into two or three parts (thus placing me in England, Los Angeles and New York today), as if doing so is going to supply us with enough insight to fully understand three characters who have not met.  It's impossible (OK, mostly) for one storyline to impact the others, just because they all have a connection to the same book.  That's a substitute for backstory and subtext, and I call shenanigans.  You can't act like there's a "meanwhile" when the story spans the decades like this.

And if you're going to dazzle/distract me with three storylines simultaneously, you should probably make sure that they all have something concrete to say.  One out of three (and I feel I'm being generous) isn't going to cut it.

NITPICK POINT: If it's not OK for a man to abandon his family, then it shouldn't be OK for a woman to do the same.  You can't just say she felt "trapped" or needed to "find herself" and expect me to regard her any better.  That's a total double-standard.

NITPICK POINT #2: Without referring to the exact events depicted, it's a big stretch to suggest that one event caused another to occur, when by your own admission, those events took place 50 or so years apart.  Editing the two events next to each other in a fractured timeline does not help suggest a cause + effect relationship.  What prevented the first event from having such an impact for 50 years?

Also starring Nicole Kidman (last seen in "Nine"), Julianne Moore (last seen in "Next", I think?), John C. Reilly (last seen in "Cirque du Freak"), Ed Harris (last seen in "Needful Things"), Allison Janney (last seen in "Away We Go"), Claire Danes (last seen in "Terminator 3"), Toni Collette (last seen in "The Sixth Sense"), Miranda Richardson (last seen in "Fred Claus"), Jeff Daniels (also last seen in "Away We Go") and Margo Martindale.

RATING: 2 out of 10 hydrangeas

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Bridges of Madison County

Year 4, Day 52 - 2/21/12 - Movie #1,052

BEFORE: My tour of relationships/infidelity now takes me to Iowa.  Linking from last night's film (which wasn't easy), George Segal was also in "Flirting With Disaster" with Lily Tomlin, who was also in "A Prairie Home Companion" with Meryl Streep (last heard in "The Ant Bully").

TCM finishes things up in Austria today with "The Guardsman", then heads for the Caribbean, where I'm going to pick up another Errol Flynn pic, "Captain Blood", and then it's on to South America, where I'll pass on "Flying Down to Rio", but I will add "Kiss of the Spider Woman".

THE PLOT: Photographer Robert Kincaid wanders into the life of housewife Francesca Johnson, for four days in the 1960s.

AFTER: Technically, this is just a reversal of "The Seven Year Itch", without the comic elements.  An Italian-American woman's husband and kids go off to the state fair, and she's alone for what, a few hours, before a National Geographic photographer pulls up to the farmhouse, looking for directions.  The timing is more than a little suspect here.  Yes, I realize that in this comparison, Clint Eastwood (last seen in "Gran Torino") is in the Marilyn Monroe role - I'm comfortable with that.

In fact, all of the timing seems rather convenient - the affair of a lifetime, unfolding in just four days?  Most people take more than that long to decide even if they want a second date with someone.  But this is clearly a female's fantasy relationship - Clint (or Brad, or George) drives up to the house, and is literally, as well as figuratively, lost.  If only a kind and foreign-accented woman could give him, and his life, some direction, plus some home-cooked meals!  Someone to listen to his tales of lonely life on the road, taking exotic pictures for National Geographic...come on!

I acknowledge that infidelity occurs - I just doubt that it occurs like THIS.  I don't find depictions of infidelity distasteful, but neither do I feel that they should be glamorized.  The saving grace here is that the romance is seen in flashback, as imagined by the late woman's children, reading her journals.  So it's possible that the affair was overly romanticized between the time it happened, and the time she wrote about it.

What the movie gets correct is the fact that once doubt is cast into the equation of a marriage via another potential partner, nothing will ever quite be the same afterwards, regardless of the choices made.  And Streep's character has to make an impossible choice - if she leaves with her new flame, she realizes their relationship won't be the same on a day-to-day basis, but if she stays with her husband, she'll always wonder about the road not taken.

I speak from some experience here - I don't often write here about my first marriage, but my first wife became enamored with someone in our circle of friends, and I realized they were spending more and more time together.  They shared similar musical tastes, believed in the same causes, etc. - and eventually she came to believe that maybe they were meant to be together, and we weren't.  I forced her to make a choice, and at first she did try to exclude this other person from her life, but the damage had been done.  (Yes, the other person was a woman, and her coming to terms with her orientation played a role here, but the principle is essentially the same.)  Part of the reason that I don't often write about this experience is that I still have hopes of turning it into a screenplay - I just don't have the time to write it.

But this took place over a period of months, if not years - so I may buy into the situation here, but not the time-frame. Apart from Francesca's choice, however, there was very little suspense or tension in the film - the affair was handled so matter-of-fact that it almost seemed mundane.  All the little details just seemed like window dressing.  So congrats on making infidelity appear boring.

It seems like a rather obvious NITPICK POINT, but Francesca's choices are (apparently) to tell Robert where the covered bridges are, or accompany him.  So, there's a local ordinance prohibiting a woman from taking pen to paper on a Sunday, and drawing him a map?  I suppose if he'd been a proper world traveler and bought a map at the gas station (or if it were set in modern times and he had a GPS), we wouldn't have a movie premise, now, would we?

Come to think of it, why doesn't he have a map?  Maybe that's his game, after all - "Oh, I'm lost, please help me, kind local-but-foreign-accented woman!"   Which brings me to NITPICK POINT #2: maybe we're just seeing this guy's moves, and he actually does have a girl in every world city.  That "once in a lifetime" line?  Pure gold, and I bet a lot of players are using it now.  "But wait," you say, "didn't he dedicate his photo book to her?"  Well, technically, no, he dedicated it "For F."  Which you could take as being discreet - or you could surmise, he's in the publishing industry.  Even in the late 60's, it wouldn't be too hard to have 23 different versions of the book published - since he probably doesn't have any girlfriends with names beginning with Q, X or Z.  Real slick, man - it's not like the book is titled "Four Days with a Woman of Italian Descent in Nowheresville, Iowa".

Also starring Annie Corley, Victor Slezak

 RATING: 4 out of 10 pickup trucks

Monday, February 20, 2012

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Year 4, Day 51 - 2/20/12 - Movie #1,051

BEFORE: Liz Taylor carries over this time, and she starred with one husband, Eddie Fisher, in the last picture, and with another husband in this one.

I'm sort of beating TCM to the punch here, they won't get to this film for a few days, when they hit their New England chain, but I picked this up last year when they ran a 24-hour tribute to Liz Taylor.  Today TCM hits ancient Rome with "Quo Vadis", "Cleopatra" (the one without Liz Taylor), Ben-Hur (seen it), "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" (ditto) and "Spartacus", which is already on my list, thanks to my BFF Andy's Christmas gift.  Then it's on to Austria for a few films, including "The Third Man" (seen it) and "Amadeus" (seen it).  So no adds today, but I will be adding two tomorrow.

THE PLOT: A bitter aging couple with the help of alcohol, use a young couple to fuel anguish and emotional pain towards each other.

AFTER: Speaking of Andy, we've been having an ongoing conversation that sprung out of last week's film "The Seven Year Itch", and we're both making salient points concerning relationships, however the difference in our marital status may be causing a bit of a disconnect.  Explaining the finer points of marriage to a single person might be a little like explaining color to a blind person, no offense intended, Andy.

But by the same token, every marriage is different, and it's easy to see something in another relationship that bears no resemblance to yours - case in point, tonight's feuding couple, George and Martha.  They've taken arguing to a whole new level, referring to it as their "games", and even getting others involved to an unnatural extent.  It starts during drinks with another couple with a few underhanded jabs, and over the course of the evening (which turns into night, which turns into morning) it becomes a total mind-bender.

I suppose the fact that it's set in academia might have something to do with it - George is a college professor and we can surmise that Martha's father is/was some kind of bigwig at the college.  The couple caught in the crossfire here is a new biology professor and his young, reserved wife.  Once George and Martha have liquored them up and extracted a few key facts from their history, they've got all the ammunition they need to cut them down, maybe even tear them apart.

I didn't particularly enjoy watching a couple fight for two hours, it's not exactly my idea of a good time, particularly when Taylor's performance was so over-the-top, compared with, say, the one in "BUtterfield 8".  Yeah, I'll admit the mind-games got a little interesting near the end, when we get a peak at just how delusional and dysfunctional this couple is.

I've read the explanation of the title, and I still don't really get it.  Obviously it's a play on "Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Wolf?", but neither of the professors are literature teachers, so I don't see why they're referencing Virginia Woolf.  It comes across like the punchline to a joke that was told at a party earlier in the evening, but without the funny part.  Anyway, more Virginia Woolf to follow this week...

Also starring Richard Burton, George Segal and Sandy Dennis.

RATING: 3 out of 10 snapdragons

Sunday, February 19, 2012

BUtterfield 8

Year 4, Day 50 - 2/19/12 - Movie #1,050

BEFORE: Of course, it's an easy leap from Paul Newman to Elizabeth Taylor, via "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof".  And I'm back in New York, even though TCM decided to stay in Paris another day...

Another clear schedule for me today, I've got no interested in "Marie Antoinette", "The Story of Louis Pasteur", or "The Life of Emile Zola".  I could pick up "An American In Paris", but outside of "Singin' in the Rain", I'm not that much of a Gene Kelly fan.  Gonna pass on "Joan of Arc", "The Razor's Edge" and "The Last Metro" too, which frees me up to record last year's film "Win Win" today, to put on a DVD with another Paul Giamatti film, "Barney's Version".

THE PLOT: The romantic life of a fashionable Manhattan beauty who's part model, part call-girl--and all man-trap.

AFTER: I didn't make a typo in the title of this film - it's "BUtterfield 8", which stands for a phone exchange in Manhattan's Upper West Side.  I never really understood the way phones used to work - you see characters in old films pick up the phone and ask the operator for "CLEarview 5279" or something like that.  The first few letters stand for numbers, obviously - but why is the word "Butterfield" and not just "Butter"?   The capitalized BU plus the 8 stands for "288" - but where are the other numbers?  Someone's phone number can't just be 3 digits long, not in 1960!

Which reminds me - in "The Apartment", Jack Lemmon's character asked the operator if he could make a "person-to-person" call - what was that?  Aren't all phone calls from one person to another person?  And by talking to the operator, didn't that make it NOT a person-to-person call?  Why didn't he just dial the number directly?  I suppose I should research this...

Ah, a "person-to-person" call is when the operator helped make a call to a specific person at a number, and if that person wasn't there, there was no charge for the call.  But what if another person who answered lied and pretended to be that person?  And didn't people used to get free long-distance calls when traveling by doing this and asking for a phony name, thus sending a free message that they'd arrived at their destination safely?  It was a flawed system, that's all I'm sayin'.

Anyway, this picks up on this week's loose theme of infidelity, as also seen in "The Apartment" and "The Seven Year Itch".  The focus here is on a call girl, which is apparently somewhat different from a prostitute, at least to some degree.  Gloria (Liz Taylor) is a part-time model also, and the two professions seem to dovetail nicely, as she's paid to wear a particular dress out at certain clubs, in order to be seen and photographed, and I guess this sells dresses somehow.

But things take a turn when one of her clients gets involved emotionally, since he's got a distant socialite wife who's off taking care of her mother.  He wants more from Gloria than she's usually prepared to give, which in turn gives her unrealistic expectations about where this relationship is going, and forces her to confront the reality of the career track she's on.

The Hollywood convention then demands that the wife returns, and of course she's going to figure out what her husband's been up to, or she already knows on some level, even an unconscious one, or maybe he'll be wracked with guilt, or perhaps all of the above.  Either way, once the infidelity train has been set in motion, it's bound to run off the tracks at some point.

So the film works as another cautionary tale, but other than that, I found it pretty pointless.   My friend Andy took issue with the film "The Seven Year Itch" - if Tom Ewell's character was so concerned about cheating on his wife, why didn't he just NOT do that?  Sure, that's easy to say - but here, as there, it's part of the premise.  This film begins the morning after the affair has been consummated, so there's no way around it.

OK, so why not just stop seeing the call girl?  Well, obviously our married man here was too emotionally involved - calling it "love" seems a bit outrageous, so was he just looking for an outlet, an escape from his marriage?  He couldn't have been too invested in the marriage if he cheated, or was the situation more complicated than it seemed?  Unfortunately there's not much clarification here, even the film's ending is not much of a resolution in this regard.

Also starring Laurence Harvey, Eddie Fisher, Dina Merrill, and Susan Oliver.

RATING: 3 out of 10 cigarettes (smoked inside stores, and even on a train!)