Same Time, Next Year
They couldn't have celebrated happier anniversaries if they were married to each other.
A man and woman meet by chance at a romantic inn over dinner. Although both are married to others, they find themselves in the same bed the next morning questioning how this could have happened. They agree to meet on the same weekend each year. Originally a stage play, the two are seen changing, years apart, always in the same room in different scenes. Each of them always appears on schedule, but as time goes on each has some personal crisis that the other helps them through, often without both of them understanding what is going on.
The biggest problem afflicting Same Time, Next Year is it's lofty goal of treating the central romance as a parallel to the changing of attitudes and cultural shifts that occurred from the early 50s to the late 70s instead of treating them like an actual couple that makes any sense. The film focuses on Doris and George, who meet at an inn and fall in love, agreeing to meet there one day a year to resume their affair. These two people never fully develop any kind of real personality beyond the most vague terms, instead seeing themselves tossed around between broad stereotypes every time we return to see them every five years or so. Ellen Burstyn and Alan Alda can't…
Adultery has never been so charming. Great characters, great performances and a decent depiction of time passing over several decades. Some of the character shifts feel a bit stunted and too extreme at times, but seem consistent with a stage play adaptation.
Charming romantic picture.
Has very little reason to exist other than a decent performance from Ellen Burstyn. Other than that, the script is awful, Alda is grating, and the entire film just falls apart.
I got on an Ellen Burstyn kick, but it's not really rewarding me so far. This movie is adapted from a play, and boy does it feel like it. The acts are divided by earnest montages of pop culture events playing out by as the years pass. Burstyn's characters are usually worldly and sardonic, but this character is too sweet and innocent - at least initially. Really, al the way through. The theme song is treacly and sappy. I had a good time mocking it. And the ending is obvious. However, I did realize that this is the play that the Donald Sutherland and Mary Tyler Moore go to see at the beginning of Ordinary People. Out of context, the scene in Ordinary People always seemed goofy and pandering. In context, it's not that much different.