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Unmarried Woman, An

Unmarried Woman, An(1978)

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  • The New Woman

    • Morris
    • 2/23/18

    An Unmarried Woman examines a seemingly privileged world in which the characters really don't have it all. Erica's picture perfect marriage is a sham. The breakup scene between Erica and her husband is brilliantly acted and very realistic. He is having a midlife crisis. Similarly the interplay with her confused daughter is beautifully captured. Director and screenwriter Paul Mazursky follows Erica through her divorce and reemergence with all the contradictory emotions necessary for that journey. I treasure the lack of packaged sentimentality in this movie. Indeed Erica and her friends have a saucy yet touching intimacy. By the end of the film Erica has been completed like the unwieldy painting she carries as the parting gift from a rejected lover. Her new soul that belongs solely to herself is ready to take flight. And we are happy for her. Maybe a bit apprehensive. But happy.

  • Changing times

    • Vicki
    • 2/23/18

    I had heard about this film when it was released back in the late 70s and at the time, I was still in college and had no interest in divorce and the problems of an unmarried woman. Then about two years ago, I found it playing on one of the cable stations late at night and couldn't stop watching.... the next day I ordered it off Amazon and enjoyed listening to Paul Mazursky's comments about the making of the film.If you enjoyed this film, I highly recommend buying a used copy and listening to the special feature with Mazursky providing trivia about each of the actors, shooting on location, etc. At times it seemed dated, but if you look beyond the clothing and the hair styles, it is still a very poignant portrayal of a woman in crisis.I would have liked to have seen Alan Bates character receive more time in front of the camera. I always thought he was one of the greatest actors of the 60s and 70s.

  • an unmarried woman

    • kevin sellers
    • 3/16/15

    In my opinion it's tied with "Harry and Tonto" and "Blume In Love" as Mazursky's best film. Like those others, it follows a single person, in both senses of the word, along a journey from crisis to some kind of a resolution wherein, to use the cliche, the single person can get on with their life. In this case the protagonist is Erica Benton, a forty something mom and wife, whose husband has rather brutally told her he wants out of the marriage. The rest of the movie is Erica's attempt to put the pieces back together. Along the way we meet her blessedly not overly precocious teenage daughter, well played by Lisa Lucas, (and whatever happened to her?) a surprisingly sympathetic female shrink, (a lesser movie would have taken the easy way out and lampooned her) a smarmy one night stand, (played with proper oiliness and obnoxiousness by Cliff Gorman) a solid and upstanding artist/boyfriend, (an ok Alan Bates. Mazursky, in the film's only lapse, doesn't give him enough good dialogue) and a wonderful cadre of sad, loser girlfriends (the best of whom is played by Kelly Bishop of "Gilmore Girls" fame.) As for Jill Clayburgh, in the title role, even people who do not like this film agree she is fantastic. She's in every scene of a long movie but not only did I not tire of her I easily could have watched an hour more of Erica's sadness, grit, bemusement, and anger. That Jane Fonda beat her out for the Oscar for the PC "Coming Home" really makes you want to join the Eastwood/Costner crowd. In short, the virtual embodiment of an A film. P.S. Did Michael Murphy, who taught English at Uni High in West L.A. in the mid sixties when I was a student there and whose husband in this film is one of the most immature creeps in Hollywood history, ever get a chance to play a character of unvarnished virtue?

  • An Unmarried Woman (1978)

    • James Higgins
    • 12/9/09

    Back in 1978, a huge fuss was made about this film and Jill Clayburgh's performance. At the time I felt both were overrated, and now 30 years later, I still feel it is overrated. The film is good, as is Clayburgh. Just not great or one of the best of the year. It did tackle a subject very much in the media at the time - divorce and how it effects all those involved. It's a bit pretentious.

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