It was 1973, the taboos of the previous generation were dieing to the general movie going public, but slowly. 40 Carats took a look at one of those taboos - the older woman/younger man relationship (the term "cougar" had yet to be coined). Ullmann plays real estate agent Ann Stanley, recently divorced from an actor (Gene Kelly) and living with her teen aged daughter and mother in New York. While on a trip to Greece she has a chance encounter and one night stand on a beach with a young man. She doesn't bargain on running into him back home or becoming the object of his matrimonial desires. Among her friends and family members she finds skepticism, but eventually acceptance. She, however, is her own worst enemy and is paralyzed with self doubt about the relationship. There's a lot of charm in this film version of the successful Broadway play, but a few flaws as well. Edward Albert (Eddie Albert's son), Gene Kelly and Nancy Walker (Ann's secretary) are just charming in their roles. Binnie Barnes (Ann's mother) and Deborah Raffin (her daughter) are a bit stilted and Ms. Ullmann is a bit bleak. It's also an odd casting choice because she was considerably younger than 40 at the time the film was made, but she seemed to make a career of playing older women in her youth. (She was playing her late 30's in Persona when she was in her early 20's.) The role was originally offered to Audry Hepburn, which would have been much more appropriate casting, but she didn't want to leave her home for a shoot in New York. All in all, it's worth seeing. It's a fun time capsule of the early 1970's in New York and an engaging story. Look for a fun cameo by Natalie Schafer as one of Ann's customers.
Obscurity factor: 9 (Confusion about DVD, on VHS, not on YouTube, largely forgotten)