This is the final of three posts for The Year After Year Blogathon being hosted by Steve of the Movie Movie Blog Blog.
Tnx for letting me participate!
“All right, I didn’t think it through.” – George
Number of Times Seen – 1 (3 Jan 2019)
Brief Synopsis – Two married strangers meet in the restaurant of a romantic inn which begins an affair that lasts for more than two decades.
My Take on it – This is a film that I recall seeing bits and pieces of over the years, but never had the opportunity to see it all play out beforehand.
It’s the perfect choice for this blogathon because we get to see two characters who meet once a year over the course and 25 years.
The premise is amazing and it works so well especially because we learn so much about these characters as they are also learning things about one another.
Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn are both superb in these roles and they are both able to carry this entire film solely together without any other characters.
The fact that the character’s personalities and opinions constantly evolve over the course of the 25 years of the time span of this story.
They use a great tool to transition between their various meetings and we get to see clips of politics and pop culture of the intervening years which helps us get into the mindset of each time period which in tuns helps us understand what transitions in the world they are going through over those intervals.
The dialogue is crisp and witty and Bernard Slade is able to wonders by just having the characters speak to one another because it helps develop their lives and makes them both seem so realistic the whole way through.
The conversations aren’t at all boring and the characters constantly engage one another to dynamic opinions on various subjects in life while keeping things in perpetual motion.
The two hours spent with these characters isn’t nearly enough and when the credts begin to roll, there is a feeling that we still want to know so much more about their lives both in the past and also about what is in store for them in the future.
I’m so glad I finally saw this film and it will definitely be ranked quite high on my list of favorite films from 1978.
Bottom Line – Such an amazing premise that works so well. Alda and Burstyn are both superb in these roles and despite the fact that they are both on screen alone the whole time, we never get bored of the characters because we get to see how they evolve over the course of the 25 years depicted. The way that they transition between the years helps us focus even more on what is transpiring in these characters lives between each of their rendezvous. The dialogue is superbly written by Slade and through the course of this story we get to know so much about the lives of these two people based solely on their conversations which are very dynamic and are constantly on the move. The two hours spent with these characters never feels as if they are enough and when the credits roll, we still want to know so much more about these characters. So glad I finally saw this in its entirety. Highly Recommended!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The external shots were filmed using a ocean-front cottage that is now part of the Heritage House Inn on the Mendocino coast in Little River, Northern California. Writer Bernard Slade and his wife stayed there a few years before Slade wrote the play and it is this cottage which inspired the “Same Time, Next Year” play. The room was distinctive for having a log fireplace, out-of-tune piano together with much antique furniture. The shell of the cottage was built as a temporary dwelling especially made for filming, the interiors were shot in the studio. When the film was finished, Universal Pictures gave the cottage to the inn and paid for the foundations to be made permanent with the interior fitted-out with studio furnishings from the movie. The building was converted into two cottages, one called “Same Time” and the other “Next Year”. The actual cottage today is now listed for rent as the “Same Time Next Year Suite” and is a popular tourist attraction for romantic holidays. (From IMDB)
Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10)
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I like Alan Alda and was delighted with this movie (I saw it upon first release). You’re right about the characters being so well-developed. Thank you for bringing this one (and your other fine contributions) to the blogathon!
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