Such a shift away from Woody's early slapstick humour that I found myself surprised at how heavy this film was. I still enjoyed it for its depth and found that Woody is not scared to confront the heavy stuff of life. He certainly does here. A good script but, as I said, veers into serious territory.
Woody Allen himself does not appear in this movie. But his thought-world permeates it thoroughly. The story is of a very small group of people: three sisters in their 20's (approx.), the male partners (husbands?) of two of them, the girls' psychotically depressed mother (who successfully suicides eventually), their father who has left the family, his new wife. Of them all, only the new wife is apparently normal. Each of the girls, and the two partners, all feel uneasy with their lives, and that they are not living up to their potential. The depressed mother is deserted by two of her daughters as much as possible, and cared for (unwillingly) by the third. The scenery is very bleak, the whole film has a depressed air, many of the scenes are in near total darkness. It is a study in human interiors, the thought/emotional worlds of people who feel trapped with no way of escaping. Only the younger of the male partners and the father seem to have uncomplicated lives. (The other male partner, a novel writer, is an alcoholic, who cannot seem to get the praise from the newspaper critics he would like to deserve.) -- In all, a bleak film, but it appears to have as its goal to show what damage a mental illness can bring about.)
Perhaps Woody Allen's best drama, this is a surprisingly good character study. It's very bleak, but it's worth seeing for the great performances as well as the realistic depiction of family dynamics.
Amazing dialogue and cinematography. Perhaps a little bleak so beware of your mood.
A typical Woody Allen movie - off-beat & interesting. The whole thing set in those bland beige tones, with the furnishings placed "just so" & the dreary mother, father & patronising bitches of daughters. It is only when Maureen Stapleton comes in in that vibrant red dress, & with ability to have FUN - remeber that? - that the husband realises what he has been missing all his life & decides to have some fun at last. It was a delight to see Mummy walk off into the surf - she won't be missed, miserable, possesive & obsessive old sow! An enjoyable movie.