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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

John And Mary (1969)

A young woman (Mia Farrow) wakes up in a man's (Dustin Hoffman) apartment on a Saturday morning having met him the night before in a bar. When JOHN AND MARY opened in December of 1969, it was eagerly anticipated. After all, Hoffman had just come off MIDNIGHT COWBOY, this was Farrow's follow up to ROSEMARY'S BABY and director Peter Yates' last film was BULLITT. The film was not a success either critically or at the box office. It deserved a better fate as I happen to feel it's one of the best films made about the first 24 hours (the entire film takes place in 24 hours) of a budding relationship: the inquisitiveness, the uncertainty, the nervousness, the tentative exploratory first steps in deciding if this one night stand could develop into something more or remain just that ... a one night stand. The film moves back and forth in a non-linear fashion between the couple and their back stories. A small part of it seems mildly dated like the whole 60s college student protest thing and the "decadent" LA DOLCE VITA style party but for the most part, it still feels relevant. Hoffman and Farrow have a pleasing chemistry and their low key performances bring a naturalness to the situation. Quincy Jones provides the muted underscore. With Tyne Daly, Olympia Dukakis, Michael Tolan, Kristoffer Tabori, Cleavon Little, Marian Mercer and Sunny Griffin.

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