Husbands, John Cassavetes, 131mins (12A)
Starring: Ben Gazzara, Peter Falk
John Cassavetes's 1970 drama of midlife crisis is painful to watch, though not in the way that its maker intends. Three married suburbanites from New York – played by Cassavetes, Ben Gazzara and Peter Falk – attend the funeral of a friend, then go on an almighty bender to drown their grief.
The idea is that no amount of singing, joshing, bullying and boozing can assuage the fear of mortality that grips them. But Cassavetes's loose, improvised method runs away with him; he wildly overindulges his trio of husbands, whose drunken, abrasive patter isn't nearly as funny as they think.
Their actual voices become monotonous. Halfway through, it switches to rain-lashed London, where they stink up a casino with their loud-mouthed bonhomie and party in their hotel suite with some young women. One or two moments achieve a lost poignancy, like the scene in which Gazzara croons "Dancing in the Dark", and a British actress, Jenny Runacre, is convincingly vulnerable as a blonde floozie Cassavetes tries to romance. But it hardly compensates for all the boorish, jabbering talk and sour moodiness. Pauline Kael, reviewing the film at the time, wrote, "I think I gave my all by sitting through it." I know how she felt.
Watch the new House of Cards series three trailerTV
Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards
Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Licence fee: What is the BBC charge – and how will the changes affect you?
- 3 This is what the photographer has to say about the picture of a weasel riding a woodpecker
- 4 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
Poldark star Heida Reed says show is not that racy: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
Glastonbury 2015: Coldplay will not headline but Florence Welch might play, says Emily Eavis
Kanye West drops 'All Day', music video to come from Steve McQueen
Game of Thrones season 5 spoilers: What we can expect according to George RR Martin's books
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'