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Summary: A girl brings home her latest boyfriend to meet her parents. This is done against the background of random shootings that had just begun in NYC. How the family's failings are magnified by the social confusion of the times is the crux of the plot.
Alan Arkin's directorial debut: a bleak black comedy in which spirited Patsy (Marcia Rodd) who takes on introverted Alfred (Elliott Gould) as a fixer-upper; their relationship deepens as New York falls to pieces around them. The first half is clumsy and uneven (Rodd's shrill performance doesn't help), and the tone and writing are erratic, but it gets better as it gets darker; the ending is especially good. Gould is agreeably catatonic; Vincent Gardenia is fine as his flustered father-in-law.
This black comedy doesn't really work. Cartoonist Jules Feiffer wrote this, and it shows: much of the dialogue seems like a series of cartoon-size vignettes. There is, however, much good acting here, from a very talented cast.
this movie is very much a product of the cynicism to come to rise out of the end of the 60's. it does a fairly decent job at what it sets out to do. no one here is really worth much praise, but i was satisfied with arkin and gould. could have used a bit of a rewrite, but generally it's pretty entertaining.
Ultra-dark comedy in which the disturbing events sit uncomfortably with the farcical tone. You're never quite sure what's going to happen next. Gould takes his slacker shtick to the logical extreme and is practically a zombie. There are some great monologues and memorable cameos, Sutherland in particular is hilarious. In a strange way this seems to be Alan Arkin's love letter to a dying city. I wonder what he makes of the sanitised New York of today.
A really strange picture. Some of its humor really works while other scenes fall flat, but for the most part, I dug its existential vibe and loony characters. Elliott Gould is typically great in the leading role, but Donald Sutherland nearly steals the show in his perfect one scene, arguably the best in the film. I also love the Central Park montage.