Minnie and Moskowitz ★★★★½

I‘m deeply confused by the take of this being a comedy - yes, Cassavettes is certainly fusing moments of humor into his narrative, but overall, I saw this movie as a deeply depressing and complex analysis of patriarchy and class.
Cassavettes ingeniously lets this unlikely romance play out, but the viewer already knows that after the credits there will be disappointment and there will be - eventually- abuse.
It‘s a doomed relationship from the start, and the only thing that is driving Minnie into it, is because she feels entirely overwhelmed by the way men claim control over her. The chains of patriarchy, which she tries to fight until the end, are giving her some sort of twisted „in the moment“ guidance as they wrap around her, and she gets more and more powerless.
There is so much thematic depth crammed into this film, as always, displayed hand in hand with a formal brilliance, but the way Cassavettes structures and poses this film to the audience is what makes it stand out in the context of his filmography. It‘s a tricky narrative, because it is not an easy one to digest, and it is one that inherently poses as a subversion of the romance genre. As Gena Rowland‘s Minnie talks about romance with her friend Florence, she is still capable of seeing through the workings of patriarchy and the low standarts women have to adjust to. In a brilliant moment that frames the entire film, she talks about how movies only show short-sighted, unrealistic versions of how actual romance looks like for a woman. In the end, she has lost her far-sight.
She eventually cracks under the overwhelming pressure and gives in. She just wants to be loved, as we all want to. Whether her lover is an abuser or not - that doesn‘t matter in the moment, because he gives her the love she craves. The film ends today. A sunny, joyful wedding day. Tomorrow is another day.

Kareem liked this review