PAUL MAZURSKY’S BOB & CAROL & TED & ALICE — A REVIEW BY NICK CLEMENT

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Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice is soooooo 1969. A study and exploration of the shifting sexual proclivities of two married couples, not to mention a general roasting of overall social norms and familial expectations, this is a funny, dated, sexy movie, which further reinforces the notion that Paul Mazursky was totally in love with the female body. It’s also a film to directly challenge the grand institution of marriage and monogamy, with the screenplay bouncing back and forth between various points of view, all in an effort to try and understand the ultimate desires of individuals. But here’s the deal, and make no mistake – the bottom line is – if you were married to Natalie Wood or Dyan Cannon back in the day – cheating should NEVER have crossed your mind. All kidding aside, the idea that Wood would have been that cool with her husband shagging a 20 year old production assistant is something that more or less constitutes the ultimate male fantasy, but hey, it’s the movies, kids! But, we’re not all Robert Culp in his brown leather jacket and pant combo, so maybe I can see how this might have been acceptable (snort). Seriously – this film is so hysterical over sex, so passionate and so totally in awe of its two leading women that it might be seen as an obsessive’s guide to the female form. Chock full of nudity, playful banter, and scenes that would never, ever be repeated in a movie today, this film is yet another reminder of how interested Mazursky was in the human condition, and how men and women use sex and emotions to take advantage of any given situation or circumstance. Elliot Gould was terrifically awkward in an early leading role, while Wood and Cannon were too hot for words. One can totally see why this film catapulted Mazursky to instant stardom within the filmmaking community.

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