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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Two For The Road (1967)

During a present day trip to the south of France, a married British couple (Audrey Hepburn, Albert Finney) with marital problems reminisce about their marriage via their other travels through France including their first meeting. Directed by Stanley Donen from Frederic Raphael's original screenplay. I can't help but love this movie! Rapahel's Oscar nominated screenplay is literate, witty and adult and rather than give us a linear narrative, he jumps back and forth from the present to their first meeting and at various points in their marriage. The film is a hybrid between those European examinations of marital apathy (think LA NOTTE) and Hollywood marital comedies (think THE AWFUL TRUTH). An odd mixture to be sure but it mostly works here. The downside of the film is that it gets a case of the "cutes" more often than necessary and it demeans the film. Hepburn and Finney have a nice chemistry together and although Hepburn is a mere 7 years older than Finney, they seem generations apart. That's because Finney had only been a star for 4 years since TOM JONES (1963) but Hepburn had a full 10 years of movie stardom before that in ROMAN HOLIDAY (1953) so that she seems from the "golden age" of Hollywood whereas Finney seems part of the newer emerging British "kitchen sink" breed. But it's a potent look at contemporary marriage and the shifting cultural attitudes toward marriage. There's a lovely Henry Mancini score. With Jacqueline Bisset, Claude Dauphin, Nadia Gray, William Daniels and Eleanor Bron. 

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