"Same Time, Next Year" (1978), color, 119 min., PG rating (for language, maybe also the situation). A romantic comedy starring Ellen Burstyn & Alan Alda. Based on the successful Broadway play (1400+ performances, 1975-78) by Bernard Slade who also wrote the screen play.
IMDb: 6.9/10 rating (2k+ voters) Same Time, Next Year (1978) - IMDb
Rotten Tomatoes: 80% (of 4k+ viewers) liked it (rating it 3.8/5) but only 2 critics (of 5) viewed it as "fresh" rather than "rotten." Same Time, Next Year Movie Reviews - ROTTEN TOMATOES
Roger Ebert: no review.
In 1951, Doris (Ellen Burstyn) a housewife about to go to a religious retreat the next day and George (Alan Alda) a married CPA doing a client's taxes, happen to meet one evening at dinner while lodging in the same California seaside motel that's near both their venues.
They have instant rapport and both are surprised when they wake up in bed with each other the next morning. Each is happily married with children and neither has a desire to change that. But they're both so gratified by their harmonious, empathic relationship (and physical activities) that they decide to meet again at the same place, the same time, next year.
Almost all the action takes place in the same motel suite (easily visualized as being the set transferred from the stage play). We look in on their meetings every 5-6 years and their transformations over time: (George's increased wealth, switch from being a liberal Democrat to conservative Republican, loss of a son, going into psychoanalysis, abandoning his quest for more money and property // Doris completing her HS, later graduating from college, a stint as a hippie, becoming a successful, financially secure businesswoman, etc.). Each respects the marriage commitment of the other, each serves as marriage counselor to the other at various points in their relationship. Each transformation by one person requires adjustments in their relation. Their relationship has some bumps (e.g., impotence/ED, pregnancy) to be conquered and always amusing dialog. The ending didn't surprise my companion as much as it did me.
IMO, this is a fairy tale that's possibly served as a wishful fantasy to some travelers making out of town, overnight business trips (and maybe recurring nightmares to some partners left behind)? But, IMO, the realities of actual human relationships are that--if ever started--extremely few of any such extra-curricular activities would ever go so smoothly, without damaging many of the signifcant people involved (spouses, children).
The make-up artists did great jobs in varying the age appearances of Alda and Burstyn in the year (1978) this movie was made (he's 42, she's 46). The narrative calls for them to be near their early 30s at the time we first meet them, then we follow them as they age over the next 30 years.
My rating: 7/10.
Last edited by Bob Pr.; 04-11-2011 at 12:22 AM. Reason: insert links, tweak writing
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
I have such a soft spot for this movie. YES it is over-written (I could have done without the Labor scene, which I found hackneyed). YES it is over-acted. Alda seems incapable of anything else.
And yes, I can't escape the fact that they're shacking up once a year. And that this is cheating 100%.
But there's something about the way the story unfolds that I just find warm and sweet.
BTW -- I love the theme song, too: "The Last Time I Felt Like This," sung by Johnny Mathis and Jane Olivor.
Kelrobin Cleveland Street Denizen, CGC, RN [Parker]
"Dear George: Remember, no man is a failure who has friends. Thanks for the wings. Love, Clarence" -- IAWL Screenplay (1946)