Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Burt Reynolds & Goldie Hawn in Best Friends (1982)

Obscurity factor: 5

This is one of my favorite early 80's comedy films. Screen writers Richard Babson (Reynolds) and Paula McCullen (Hawn) live together, work together and love each other, so when they decide to get married after many years it should just be a rubber stamp for their relationship. But it's funny, how a little word can change everything. After their civil ceremony they board a train headed back east for a honeymoon trip to visit their families (Perhaps their first mistake?). Paula has commitment issues, feeling like marriage is one step toward death and she doesn't want to get caught in the trap of the traditional role of wife. Visiting the traditional suburban homes of their youth just ads fuel to the fire of her discontent, with hilariously touching results.
This bitter-sweet romance directed by Norman Jewison is a beautiful character study of modern partners with charming performances by the two stars. Burt Reynolds is deft with the comedy, lightening heartfelt scenes with his charm. The pace is leisurely and comfortable and the beautiful score by Michel LeGrand with two touching songs sung by James Ingram and Patti Austin, produced by Quincy Jones strikes just the right note. Look for great turns by Jessica Tandy, Barnard Hughes, Audra Lindly and Keenan Wynn as the in-laws, Ron Silver as their boss at the studio and Richard Libertini as the wacky officiate at their wedding.

This film is available on DVD and can be watched in full on YouTube, thanks to an upload by ClassicRocknRolla1. Part one is above. I highly recommend it.

Obscurity factor: 5 (on DVD, available on YouTube, not well know)

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