Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.
USA, 1979. Lion’s Gate Films. Screenplay by Robert Altman, Allan F. Nicholls. Cinematography by Edmond L. Koons. Produced by Robert Altman. Music by Tom Pierson. Production Design by Stephen Altman. Costume Design by Beth Alexander. Film Editing by Tony Lombardo.
A genuine low for Robert Altman, this examination of the beginnings of a difficult relationship between Greek-American Paul Dooley and struggling singer Marta Heflin is never less than excruciating to sit through. Dooley and Heflin go on a first date after meeting through a dating service, and it turns into sweet romance except for obstacles that keep getting in their way, notably his antisocial personality and overbearing family. Meanwhile, she lives with her band in a giant loft where they constantly rehearse or just lounge around, prompting Dooley to think she might be part of some kind of free love commune. Other than a charismatic performance by Ted Neeley, who sings a couple of tunes, this one does not benefit from Altman’s freely experimental style or improvisational nature. Feel free to skip it.