Always (1985)

HENRY JAGLOM

Bil’s rating (out of 5):   B

USA, 1985.  International Rainbow, Jagfilms, The Rainbow Film Company.  Screenplay by Henry Jaglom.  Cinematography by Hanania Baer.  Produced by Henry Jaglom.  Music by .  Film Editing by Henry Jaglom.  

 films an autobiographically-inspired exploration of his break-up from his real-life wife . He plays a fictionalized version of himself, who narrates the tale of their happy marriage and bitter breakup in prologue before the story commences with them getting together to sign their divorce papers. The night that Judy (Townsend) comes over to finalize the deal, he makes them dinner and they get drunk, she gets extremely ill and passes the night at his place. The next morning, his weekend house guests show up, her sister (Melissa Leo) comes to bring her medicine, and it quickly becomes a chamber piece of contemplation as the main couple at the centre of the story re-evaluate their past and reconsider their future with helpful commentary from their companions.

Here’s the downside: it’s excruciating to sit through. This early Jaglom film is one of his most supremely boring, unbearable thanks to his completely unappealing, self-indulgent presence and Townsend’s painfully whiny personality. You’re hardly sympathetic enough to care whether or not these characters stay alive let alone live happily ever after, and while there is lots of naturalistic dialogue and believable acting, there is far too little humour or dramatic tension to make it worth the effort.

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