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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Women and Men (1990)

Three short stories by celebrated authors presented in anthology form. Frederic Raphael (TWO FOR THE ROAD) directs Mary McCarthy's MAN IN THE BROOKS BROTHERS SHIRT: a young Bohemian leftist (Elizabeth McGovern) encounters a married salesman (Beau Bridges) on a train and against her better judgment allows herself to be seduced by him. Ken Russell (WOMEN IN LOVE) directs Dorothy Parker's DUSK BEFORE FIREWORKS: a 1920s flapper (Molly Ringwald) finds her date with a playboy (Peter Weller) constantly interrupted by phone calls from his other women. Tony Richardson (TOM JONES) directs Ernest Hemingway's HILLS LIKE WHITE ELEPHANTS: a writer (James Woods) and his mistress (Melanie Griffith) traveling through Spain come to an impasse in their relationship. As with almost all portmanteau films, it's a mixed batch. The Raphael film benefits from an excellent Elizabeth McGovern performance but the material leaves an unpleasant aftertaste. The Russell offering comes off as a one joke premise that wears out its welcome quickly. The most successful of the three is the final Richardson film of Hemingway's short story. It's a lovely if sad mood piece with fine work by Woods and especially Griffith. The underscore is by Marvin Hamlisch. 

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