The narrator at the beginning of this film mentions it's a comedy, and while the film which follows is hardly that, maybe he's referring to the laughable choices we sometimes make in life when young, because that's what this crisis seems to be about. It's either that or the crisis Bergman himself was facing as a struggling first-time director. Anyway, in the film, a young woman has been raised to the age of 18 in a small town by her adoptive mother, and is being courted by her mother's lodger, who while annoying, boring, and older, at least seems like a decent guy who cares for her. Enter her birth mother, who wants to take her to Stockholm to work in her beauty salon, as well as her birth mom's younger boyfriend, who is a creepy and disturbing lothario. The choice is thus between town/adoptive mom/nice guy, vs. city/birth mom/ladies man, and the film sets it pretty much up in those black and white terms.One exception to that is how the film shows selfish vs. selfless love, and we find that most of it (or maybe all of it?) is at least partially the former, which was interesting. I also appreciated how the film confronts adoptive vs. birth parent rights, with the adoptive mom asserting herself, though that doesn't really develop much from there, since the young woman is old enough to make her own decisions.Most of the scenes felt pretty generic and not all that compelling, but there were some exceptions. I loved the scene at the ball when the youth rearrange the furniture in the next room, then improvise some modern music and dance wildly, to the consternation of the older folks trying to listen to an opera singer. There is also a lovely scene when the adoptive mom is lying sleepless on a train, and remembering moments from the past. Bergman also gets a little zinger in on men when a woman in the beauty parlor quotes Catherine the Great as saying once you've had 10,000 men, you find that there isn't a whole lot of difference between any of them.Unfortunately, despite solid performances from the cast, the film suffers mainly because of its script, which is melodramatic and simplistic. The craziest thing was the signature move we find that the playboy puts on women. He tells them he's killed his girlfriend, wants to turn himself into the police, and may shoot himself ... and apparently this is an approach that gets them into bed. (What?) The film also suffers from a lack of clarity and a wandering in tone, complete with an oddly jaunty soundtrack in places, and the young director is to blame for this. He himself commented in 1973 that "If someone had asked me to film the phone book, then I would have done it. The result might have been slightly better. I knew nothing, couldn't do anything, and felt like a crazy cat in a yarn harness," and the result was the studio sending in Victor Sjöström to help supervise him through the chaos. As Bergman idolized the man, that must have been very tough for him. Despite all of this, the film is not awful or anything, but it is decidedly average, and for Bergman completists only.
Weak storyline that should have had the lead role, Mindy Quinn, facing 60 since that's closer to her actual age. I typically like Teri Hatcher, yet this movie didn't work. Curious why Hallmark and the production team were okay with a 58 year old woman playing a 49 year old freaking out about turning 50. The movie's premise of a mid life crisis would have worked and could have been even more impactful with Mindy turning 60. The other lead actors who played Mindy's ex-husband and first love are also way past 50 years old. Are you trying to say that there aren't any actors who are 49-ish who could have been in this movie? I have a hard time believing this.
This was very very frustrating to watch. Almost unbearable. But before I get into it, I just want to say how sad it is to see so many narrow minded reviews on IMDb criticizing Hallmark's impressive move towards being more diverse and inclusive. The people who throw around phrases like "woke garbage" and "woke agenda" just because Hallmark no longer ignores the lives of the billions of people who aren't heterosexual or White really need therapy. It's "disheartening" to read reviews that characterize tame vanilla depictions of same sex love as "immoral" and "filth". I'm a huge Hallmark fan and have been for many years. I have been generally impressed with how these new kinds of characters have been added to story lines, usually quite effectively (Love, Classified for example). But having diverse characters doesn't magically transform a bad movie into a good movie.Teri Hatcher (who's 57) plays Mindy, who's turning 50 in the movie. She spends a lot of time telling everyone she's having a mid-life crisis and whines about getting older even though she's generally attractive and seems to have her health, a daughter who loves her, a fulfilling job, and lives in a beautiful home on a lake. None of that insulates her from feeling depressed, of course, but it's hard for the average viewer to have much empathy for someone like her, or be entertained by a movie with wall to wall whining and irrational behavior.James Tupper (who's also 57) plays Sam, Mindy's first love from high school. He's a month younger than Mindy and, coincidentally, the uncle of the woman that Mindy's daughter Rita wants to marry. He is, according to Mindy, very "chill" and seemingly unbothered by the aging process. But, he later admits to feeling "insignificant and lost" and complains that in high school, Mindy made him feel that he "wasn't good enough". He certainly does his share of whining too. Indeed, one gets the feeling that all this angst and unhappiness would have played out better in a lengthy novel than in a Hallmark movie.For reasons that are never explained in a satisfactory or believable way, Sam joins his adult niece Emily at the home of Emily's future mother-in-law (even though Emily didn't then know that Mindy was going to be her future mother-in-law). She's basically there for her girlfriend Rita, who's determined to plan an over the top birthday party for her mother- over her mother's repeated objections. Meanwhile, Sam and Mindy haven't said a word to each other in over 3 decades but, suddenly, he's staying at Mindy's place for a week because ....?Mindy's home is quite nice, and presumably has plenty of room for her, her ex husband, her ex boyfriend, her daughter and her daughter's girlfriend. It also has a lovely private dock, a private beach, a lakeside fire pit, amazing rock work, a huge kitchen, a long wraparound deck, and it has a lake on one side and something akin to a National Park with a thrilling suspension bridge on the other. I realize that her EX husband is a doctor, but that house would have been pricey for 2 doctors who were still married. And yet she is somehow able to live there even though she's divorced and living on a teacher's salary. And she inexplicably thinks nothing of giving up her job as a teacher with no plan for what's next, or how to pay the mortgage. And her ex, who was presumably paying her alimony (which would have been based on their incomes), isn't thrilled with that development. But, as usual, Hallmark doesn't bother with pesky things like financial realities.And no one thinks it's weird that Mindy's ex-husband Marc is invited by his daughter to live at Mindy's home for a week? Joining Emily, Rita, Mindy, and her ex boyfriend Sam? Actually, Mindy's therapist/friend does question the odd (ridiculous) arrangement:Nathalie: "You could have said no"Mindy: "We both know that's not my forte"Really? She couldn't say no, even though she was all too willing to share her strongly held opinions about what her daughter Rita should do with her life? No one who's been through a bad divorce, following a long marriage, would think of this arrangement as anything other than BONKERS. In the real world, Mindy would tell her daughter: "No, I don't want your father, who was the one who wanted the divorce, moving back in with me for a week, while my old high school boyfriend is also living with me for a week, while your future wife is also living with us for a week, while I'm having a complete mental breakdown over the fact that I'm turning 50."There's a lot to not like about Mindy:Sam: 'I can't say yes to you if I don't mean it"Mindy: "Really? I do it all the time"What a peach. She even steals Sam's line later in the movie because, you know, growth.But one of the worst moments occurs when she screams at the Octoberfest bar maids. Ugh. I REALLY hated her character at that point.And then revealing special secret plans in a self absorbed hysterical fit? Ugh.Although the love between Emily and Rita was believable, they shared Mindy's unrealistic approach to life. Quit their jobs and travel the country for a year together ? With what money? The problem wasn't that they were gay, the problem was that they were making very questionable choices which, as usual, ignored the fact that food, gas, shelter, etc. Costs money. Ugh.This was a really unpleasant viewing experience. But it doesn't represent the far better quality movies that Hallmark has been making. See one of those instead. 041b061a72