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  • LOVING is a film for the patient movie buff. It is not a film for those who want to see murders or car crashes every five minutes. It is a maturely-told, sensitively-acted, -written and -directed film about a commercial artist's marital (and extra-marital) entanglements. It relies on character rather than plot to convey its points.

    All the actors are spotless in their portrayals, especially George Segal and Eva Marie Saint as the artist and his harried wife. It is a film that slowly builds interest in the characters which is amply rewarded for the audience by the film's conclusion. LOVING is a film that will leave you silent at the end, and thinking about it for days afterward.
  • I caught this film on late night cable (maybe even the 'romance' movie channel) and it left a deep impression. There is a gap between this type of melodrama in European cinema at the time and the 'revolution' that was happening in American cinema, particularly the suspension of moral judgment outside of epiphany. The main character is having a typical middle age, middle class crisis and we are allowed to see it unfold unencumbered by a personal transformation, a complete crash. This type of screen writing is having a revival in shows like 6 feet under on HBO. I would recommend it to anyone interested in that dark, muddy 1970's American cinema that seems to put the middle class of the 1960's to rest but doesn't become another 'desert road trip' film.
  • In the great Jean Renoir classic "Rules of the Game", a character played by the director himself comments that "everybody has his own good reasons." This rightly has been taken to be the great humanist director's basic philosophy of life. Seeing, over and over again, this understanding, non-judgmental attitude by a narrative artist toward his characters' weaknesses is what makes art film audiences love Renoir's work and consider him one of the greatest filmmakers of the 20th century. Irvin Kershner's "Loving" is one of the rare Hollywood films worthy of being called Renoirian, and it is for just this reason. Even though "Loving" is filled with highly-flawed characters making seemingly disastrous choices about their lives, its genius is how it puts the audience in a position where it cannot (or at least cannot with any decency) judge them. This may be more than many audience members can handle, being so used to films with heroes and villains about whom they are allowed to feel smugly superior. The legendary "New Yorker" critic Pauline Kael, in her rave review of the film, wrote that it "looks at the failures of middle-class life without despising the people; it understands that they already despise themselves" and that there's "a decency in the way that Kershner is fair to everyone." We could use a few more films like "Loving" out there in the American film cannon. If you every get a chance to see this film, don't hesitate to do so!
  • RanchoTuVu3 September 2009
    Even George Segal himself acknowledged that he had a bland screen presence (Halliwell's Film Guide-1995). Most people wouldn't list him as one of their favorite actors. However, he was definitely okay for this film. Segal's character in this movie is quasi-tragic, a talented commercial artist and a family man, married to adequately attractive Eva Marie Saint and with two cute, wise-cracking daughters. Why he seems to want (or needs) to throw this away for drinking and women makes for somewhat compelling viewing, and leads to a great climax at a party for a lot of sophisticated art types on a very cold winter's night, in which first a lot of drinking and then temptation lead to one of the better conclusions you're likely to see.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A frank, very adult look at a marriage on the verge of destruction. George Segal is a not so successful graphic artist married to very efficient homemaker Eva Marie Saint. He has his hands full with a wife, a girlfriend, two children, ambivalent clients, and very little money. Segal is exceptional in a role that is really perfect for his particular befuddled angst. Saint is every inch his equal, slowly realizing her husband's unhappiness, but not shy about letting him know the door is always open. Whether she actually will kick him out is debatable. The supporting cast includes David Doyle, Keenan Wynn, Roy Scheider and, briefly, Sterling Hayden. Directed with his usual sure hand by Irvin Kershner from a script by Don Devlin. The expert cinematography is by the great Gordon Willis.
  • In the wake of Bob & Ted & Carol & Alice came a string of similar sex comedy/dramas including Loving. George Segal was on a role in the late 60's/early 70's, but this is one of his lesser known efforts from the period. And seeing how few votes this movie has gotten here on IMDb, it's still quite unknown despite being available on DVD since 2003.

    The film has a typical plot of it's time: successful man throwing away his perfect life with wife and kids with his unfaithfulness. Eva Marie Saint who plays his wife is far more attractive than the woman he's seeing on the side, so it was hard for me to feel any sympathy at all for this guy. A young Sherry Lansing (the future Paramount producer) shows up in a small but memorable role, looking like the twin sister of Raquel Welch. She should of played the "other woman" instead, we would of understood why he was cheating on his wife a whole lot more. Not only did Lansing's career end not long after Loving, but the actress who played the other woman, Janice Young, vanished completely after Loving, as did the other major actress in the movie, Nancie Phillips. Neither of their IMDb listings list them as being deceased, so i'm definitely curious as to their whereabouts.

    One major reason why this movie deserves more attention is that it now possesses more historical importance than ever before. As noted in the trivia section, there's a scene that takes place at a construction site, and that scene was shot on location at none other than the World Trade Center construction site, of all places.
  • George Segal (not as scruffy as he typically had been at the start of the decade) plays a troubled husband and father suffering through career uncertainty who cheats on his wife (Eva Marie Saint, cast yet again as a doormat-spouse). Segal is an affable screen presence, but we never learn much about what makes him tick, what causes him to hurt the ones he loves. Talented director Irvin Kershner hit a few snags in his career; here, the semi-improvisational ground he's treading desperately needs a center, or a leading character we can attach some emotions to. The dramatic finale is well-realized, and Segal's comeuppance is provocative and thoughtful--at least something is HAPPENING; overall, it's a cynical slice of the marriage blahs, one that probably played a lot fresher in 1970 than it does today. ** from ****
  • Who needs blood and guts when you can watch more interesting destructive behavior? George Segal embodies studied amorality perfectly. There is no God, no religion, no moral sensibility, only what I do and what I can get away with. But it's not just George. All the men in the film are just in it for themselves, down to the kvetching neighbor complaining about George's crab-grass. We are a long way from Puritan New England in this cold portrayal of suburban hustle set in Westport, CT. Some of the women, especially Eve Marie-Saint, still think the old rules - middle-class conventions - still have meaning, value, and valor, but not the men and certainly not two of the women (Mistress and Fling for discussion purposes herein). We get no inner life of George, he just communicates his superiority as an artist, his ability to hustle accounts (in a bizarre cameo by Sterling Hayden, who plays an embodiment of Lincoln), and his ability to have a wife, a mistress, and whatever Fling stirs him at the moment, which becomes the essential plot device of this otherwise aimless movie, aimless if you don't see the trainwreck coming at breakneck speed, despite the movie's studied languor. We would have no movie, however, if only George was amoral - and you know George is amoral, that the part was a cakewalk for him, because that is who he is. Yuk! I will certainly research any movie that stars George Segal before deciding how much degradation and loss of tradition I want to experience.

    Of course, to him and his ilk, there is no other reality. Life is to be lived through their gimlet eyes, and my job is to identify these types early, and thence to avoid them. I am not even going to look up the name of the "party-host husband" who casually schtupes a drunken guest (that would be Fling #2 for George, but he doesn't get to her) while his wife vainly tries to keep the party upscale, only to have her husband tee up live-pornography for his guests. As my secretary says, you can't make this stuff up, and this movie perfectly illustrates what happens when you believe in nothing other than the primacy of your own sexual prowess.

    Thoroughly distasteful but an essential watch for those who need to understand why we have a new religion in this land, one whose commandments consist of micro-aggression "Shalt-nots," identity politics, and a belief that government must make laws enforcing all this BS, and must take care of us from cradle-to-grave. For those rejecting the traditions of our ancestors, it is George jungle out there unless we abide by our new religion. It's an easy choice for me (the ol' time religion), but not for most, with their obsession with "truth," and hence our new religion. In this religion, all that matters is your posturing, and your obeisances to the identity politic gods (and police), even if the world is falling down around you. I'll take the old-time religion always.

    Performances are excellent throughout. The children - the poor children: their suffering isn't shown, but it is forboded - are superb. The hard-bitten Mistress, angling for George to divorce, is perfect in her callous disregard for other's feelings. And the two Flings are the cynical embodiment of George - they are also just in it for the momentary pleasure George is living for. In fact, the only moral judgment ever passed in this movie is when Fling #1 (Fling #2 having passed out upstairs where the host gets her) accuses George of being middle-class for wanting his pants back before going back into the house to get food and drink for their outside tryst. Double yuk.

    But powerful. After traditional religion but before our new Neo-Victorian secular religion enforced by the state (and its high priests), this movie is a must-see for American cultural history.
  • jacksflicks28 July 2019
    People from Pauline Kael to Bret Easton Ellis call the 1970s a golden age of film. Don't need to list them, but see for yourself.

    Starting the 70s canon is this neglected gem. Kael calls it, "A beautifully sustained piece of moviemaking by Irvin Kershner." Heading the master class that includes Sterling Hayden, Keenan Wynn and Roy Scheider are George Segal and Eva-Marie Saint. Segal is self-conflicted middle-aged crazy over career and love, and Saint is his wife who knows exactly what's going on with them both.

    Before I saw this I read Kael's comment that it's a European film with American production values. And it is. It's a familiar story, but it's told through "stunning" performances and the director's empathy with the characters and, since we may find ourselves in their place, with us. Director Kershner's respect for people is what another reviewer calls, "Renoirish".

    Yes, it's true, some great films need patience. Alas, thanks to today's attention spans, this 8+ gets unjustly lowballed. Give this one a chance.
  • SnoopyStyle31 March 2019
    Brooks Wilson (George Segal) is a commercial artist married to Selma (Eva Marie Saint) with two young daughters. His girlfriend Grace wants more. He's desperate to get a new account. His life unravels during a party with his business associates and wives.

    For most of this movie, it has a life in the day feel. It's big personal issues in small everyday world. It's a slow simmer until the last ten minutes when all hell breaks loose. Segal is simple in his performance but the character is not appealing. He's not fun. He's not outwardly evil. He's just amoral. This is not a big laughs comedy but it does have a few smirks. It's not for everyone.
  • I have always loved "Loving. That's partly because during the 1970's I was an aspiring commercial artist in Sydney, Australia. My heroes were the great illustrators, mainly American: Norman Rockwell, Tom Lovell, Robert McGuiness, Bob Peak, Mitchell Hooks, dozens of them. I kept scrapbooks of their work - it wasn't safe to leave a magazine near me in those days.

    "Loving" gave an insight into their world - sort of.

    Brooks Wilson is a struggling illustrator in New York who is about to land a big account (the type that would have gone into my scrapbooks). However Brooks isn't happy. He is married to Selma (Eve Marie Saint) who loves him, and has two precocious daughters, but he is having an affair on the side. Brooks is bitter about many things and lets everyone down - it's hard to feel sorry for him.

    Like many illustrators, Brooks feels his work is just to pay the bills and isn't that worthwhile. In a telling scene, Brook's crosses a busy street in New York to look at some enigmatic paintings hanging in the window of an art gallery - real art.

    The film is based on a novel by J. M. Ryan, the pen name of John McDermott. McDermott was an accomplished illustrator especially of action scenes. He also hated the changes the filmmakers made to the story.

    McDermott's illustrations were used as props in the movie and can be seen in the agent's office, and when the assistant visits Brooks at home. All the detail of Brooks' art life is authentic, especially his working methods. In one fascinating sequence, Selma puts down her knitting to pose as a Southern belle for reference for sketches Brooks needs to have ready in the morning.

    George Segal's persona as a nice guy who somewhere along the way got cynical is in full flower here. The film was made at a time when faith in institutions was under pressure. "Loving" captures a disillusioned, hedonistic vibe with middle-aged guys running around with their new cookies.

    Keenan Wynn plays Brook's harassed agent, while Sterling Hayden as the demanding client, Lepridon, almost seems to be channelling Captain Ahab, and Roy Scheider has a small role as an ad rep.

    "Loving" is a bit close to the bone to be a comedy, but it's better than its obscurity would indicate. And if you feel nostalgic for those magnificent, hand-drawn illustrations of yesteryear, then it's a film to appreciate on a number of levels.
  • rolee-127 August 2009
    I know that movies about alcoholics aren't implicitly bad. I know that movies about people obviously headed for ruin aren't implicitly bad. I know that movies from the seventies aren't necessarily bad. But up until the last scene, I found the movie irritating. I'm sure that that is probably some of what the director wanted: we're supposed to be irritated by the stupid things the characters do, we're supposed to be irritated by all the same things that get under the skin of Brooks Wilson. Somehow though, the irritation wasn't translated for me. It was dumped directly into my veins without any intermediary.

    I think that it's mostly because it's a seventies movie and I find so much of seventies movies tiresome. As soon as I started watching it, I found myself gritting my teeth as I saw the city streets and all the late sixties and early seventies cars and clothing. I know that the movie has value and it was probably a very interesting film when it was released. And I think that the ending makes it worth it, but only just.

    If you can see past the seventies style or don't have the negative reaction that I do, you will find it much more enjoyable. If you don't like seventies movies, you probably won't like this one either.
  • lorelei328 August 2009
    Warning: Spoilers
    I just finished watch this movie and it was one of the worst 1.5 hrs. I've spent in my life.

    Let me work backwards on this; when the final credits ran I was so confused by the abrupt ending that I had to rewind just to make sure that the movie didn't cut off the ending. It made no sense whatsoever.

    Immediately after the fight scene, the redhead just walks away. You'd think she would have said something and wouldn't it have been better if Brooks had seen her standing there?

    There is no relationship between the viewing audience and the actors, you end up not caring at all about the characters.

    Oh and don't let me forget the biggest mystery of them all, and this really kills me. The part where the guy goes into the room with the drunk girl -- you know he's going to take advantage of her but there are no repercussions and no one ever knows! Why did they put this in there if the hidden TV cam didn't even catch him?!?!?

    I beg of you all, don't watch this. The only reason I rated it a 4 rather than a 1 is because of the groovy 70's music and fashion.