6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite movie of all time ...
I first saw this movie when I was twelve and it was my favorite movie then. Thirty-seven years, and a lot of life experience later, it still is. When I first saw it, I took Mark Wallace's views on marriage very much to heart and found the difference between their early relationship and their subsequent marriage disturbing. Seeing it so many years later, I found all his...
Published on March 6 2004
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Memory Lane Is A Bumpy Road
Some films from the Sixties have dated more than others. I loved this film when it first came out and for years had many pleasant memories of it. Some years ago, my English wife and I travelled across France by road from Calais to the Med and throughout the journey I had images of this film constantly re-playing in my head. So I looked forward to seeing it again after a...
Published on Jan. 6 2004 by Cowboy Buddha
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best? Best!,
This review is from: Two for the Road (Widescreen) (Bilingual) [Import] (DVD)Is this really one of the best films ever made or is it just that I so thoroughly enjoyed it. By turns funny, dramatic, and ironic, this film takes us all around the block and then some. The story of a modern courtship and marriage - told warts and all - the movie employs a unique and effective flash back/forward plot device. In the hands of a lesser director, this could have been annoying, but Stanley Donen is a master, and Two for the Road is one of his masterpieces. Add to this Audrey Hepburn at the apex of her Givenchy beauty and acting abilities and Albert Finney - perhaps the only living actor who could convincingly fail to shower Hepburn with attention and still seem straight - and a who's who of American and European character actors (Jacqueline Bissett in her film Debut) and that is Two For The Road.
Yes.....definitely among the best films ever made. DVD? It's about frigging time!
5.0 out of 5 stars A stinging portrait of married life's ups & downs,
4.0 out of 5 stars A must see---A must buy!,
But I have also been viewing her lesser-known films, such as The Nun's Story (excellent), Children's Hour (excellent), and -- most recently -- "Two for the Road."
When I first rented the movie, I had =no= idea what to expect, so at first I was a bit surprised and let down that the relationship that Hepburn's character (Joanna Wallace) has with the leading male is not all sweet and sugary such as that in Roman Holiday. In fact, the relationship she has with Albert Finney's character (Mark Wallace) is "basically volatile" -- as Wallace's friend and ex-lover points out -- and is filled with "sniping" and mutual loathing--at least by the time they have been married for ten years.
However, by the time the film was over, I realized it was the most realistic movie about the vicissitudes of long-term relationships that I had ever watched and that I would be recommending this little-known film to all my friends, especially my married and divorced ones (i.e., I think one has to have been married and/or divorced to =really= appreciate the film, although other reviewers have pointed out that they were single when they first viewed it and that it made a lasting impression on them).
I myself was married 2 weeks shy of 14 years (in a very volatile relationship), and to me this film is "spot on" when it comes to portraying the different phases that many long-term relationships go through: the first months of almost absolute bliss; the early, pre-child years, when the arguments that occur only presage later, more serious ones; the years when a child only adds stress to a relationship already at a breaking point; the 6th-8th year when the couple can't stand each other; [the whole 7-year itch factor]; to the 10th-12th year when the couple still cannot stand each other, only pretend to be happily married, but stay together because "it is worth it sometimes," and because they discover they need each other. As Finney's character wryly remarks: If there is one thing I really despise is an "indispensible woman."
I give "Two for the Road" 4 out of 5 stars. The performance by Hepburn is extraordinary--given that she convincingly plays the same woman, Joanna Wallace, over a 12-year period, varying between a 20-something fresh youth who is "three-dimensional as it happens" -- Viewers of the film will recognize that quote -- to a thirty-something mother-with-child ("pregnant sow").
Other reviewers have mentioned that the scenes cut between four different "road trips" that Mark and Joanna Wallace make, but in my count there are at least five:
(a) the one where they first meet and fall in love when hitchiking;
Hepburn's acting was superb, while Finney's was passable at best. His character hardly changes in appearance over the 10-12 years, and his imitation of Humphrey Bogart is weak and therefore unnecessary. Michael Caine would have been a better lead. But he does deliver his lines well if somewhat too laconically.
Memorable quotes abound from this film, as in Breakfast at Tiffany's (which remains my fav of Hepburn films)...
----"We agreed before we got married we weren't going to have children," says Finney's character.
----"And before we were married, we didn't," slyly retorts Hepburns' character.
The dialogue is as catchy as the editing and the acting.
4 out 5: Even though I am a huge Audrey Hepburn fan, and even though the movie is one of her best... still it is probably not (yet) in my top fifty movies of all time...well, maybe #50. (There are an awful lot of movies out there!)
But I would still say that it is the most realistic film about relationships that I have seen, and certainly the most realistic film about relationships that Hepburn stars in. And "star in" she does in "Two for the Road": as in most her movies, her personality and--in this case-- her superb acting *make* the movie. She plays the gamut of absolute giddyness to the depths of grief in a very believeable and touching manner.
I plan to purchase the film for multiple viewings. And it is a definite "must see" and "must have" for Hepburn fans.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic - TRUE Classic,
Now thirty-three years later, more happily married than ever, I look at this film as a timeless, classic work that survives while so many others have failed.
The writing is superb in its wit and poignancy - a poignancy that was applicable then and is as pertinent now.
Lines like, Finny pointing to the obnoxious child, "Do you Still want a Child.." And Hepburn replies, "Yes! just not THAT child.." The statement speaks volumes for those deciding on children or not....it exemplfies how individual that decision is.
Finny is as funny as hell as a typical male and Hepburn is sweetness personified in her portrayal.
They grow old together, in sickness and in health, good times and bad, joy and happiness and pain and sorrow. They live in a world of reality where life is a roller coaster and no one is perfect. They make it through the times of deceipt and betrayal by knowing the greater part of their marriage is positive and rewarding.
The film is brilliantly photographed, the score is uncomplicated and lovely. Sub plots like the erosion of the environment because of over-building and the superficial needs and crutches of the overly monied add to support the central them of compromises and misfortunes even in the best of worlds and relationships.
Rent it -- Oh and for god's sake will someone please get this on DVD -- and see a big dose of healthy truth wrapped in glorious scenery, incredible fashions and wonderful performances.
God i LOVE this movie.
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Movie!,
By A Customer
Memorable movie lines:
Finney to Hepburn who is sporting a tiara: "If you want to be a Dutchess, be a Dutchess; but if you want to make love it's hats off".
Hepburn to Finney: "You don't know what love is".
5.0 out of 5 stars why i love stanley donen, audrey hepburn, and henry mancini,
audrey hepburn, of course, needs no introduction.
why then this movie -the last of three the two made together- is so often overlooked is beyond me. this poingant, wildly inventive look at marriage has been cited by many as hepburn's best performance. it is possibly even donen's best film, of a repitoire which is hard to beat. it is simply a fantastic movie.
in short... go watch two for the road!
5.0 out of 5 stars Enormous pleasure,
The story is told through flashbacks. We follow the couple from their early carefree infatuation through marriage, parenthood, boredom, infidelity, and finally renewal of their relationship.
Along the way, there are some memorable vignettes involving Joanna and Mark vacationing with another couple Howard and Cathy Manchester (amusingly played by William Daniels and Eleanor Bron) and their daughter Ruthie Manchester. Howard and Cathy must be the most wittily neurotic twosome in movies and their daughter Ruthie is probably the most obnoxious child in movie history.
The performances are uniformly excellent. The direction by Stanley Donen is stylish and sophisticated. Frederic Raphael's screenplay is alternately romantic and cynical. And Henry Mancini's exquisitely beautiful score is one of this fine composer's very best. "Two For the Road" is an enormous pleasure.
5.0 out of 5 stars unlike any other hepburn pic,
By A Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars One of My Favorite Films,
A unique film that I've seen many times for several different reasons. I'm aware of its flaws, but it remains special because of the story it tells and the abilities of those involved in making it. Audrey Hepburn made a number of good films, but this film and "Roman Holiday" (her first) are my favorites. Likewise I especially enjoy Albert Finney's work here and in "Tom Jones" (early is his career). Stanley Donen's work as the director of "Singing in the Rain" made it one of the best musicals ever, and his work here made "Two for the Road" a unique dramatic comedy.
Some say this film is mainly a Vogue fashion show. While I feel that is true of the overrated "Funny Face", Audrey's clothing here helps tell the story. Some say the film is hard to follow, but if you pay attention to the vehicles the main characters are traveling in, the clothes they are wearing, and what they are saying, you won't be confused by the shifts backward and forward in time. I've worked with a lot of high school students who had no problems following the story because they quickly recognized these clues. In fact, one of the reasons the film is enjoyable is because those time shifts make it easier to explore the main characters' relationship.
I'm sorry "Two for the Road" rarely appears on TV while some of Audrey's lesser works often do and that "Two for the Road" hasn't made it to DVD. Those who enjoy good films should be given more opportunities to see it.
5.0 out of 5 stars Their Marriage Survived the Years, As Did the Film,
The bitter beginning shows the distance between the seemingly unhappily married couple of Joanna (Audrey Hepburn) and Mark (Albert Finney) Wallace. It is nothing short of fitting.
From that point on the movie jumps from point-to-point on the time line of their relationship. The fun and fancy-free aura of their early years to the bitter and cold homestretch, ... .
"Two For The Road" is certainly a far cry from anything audiences had seen prior to that and is certainly something film makers try to reproduce frequently - with far less success. The film is a classic in its own right and something all movie lovers should witness. The pain-stakingly real performance of Audrey Hepburn was no surprise and it's also no wonder why she remains one of Hollywood's favorite leading ladies. Albert Finney's portrayal of a loving man with a cold façade only compliments his opposite's performance (ironically enough, it is most evident when they clash). It's clear that this movie makes you fall in love it it just as many times as the characters do, but you can only walk away from it with a smile on your face for the seconds, with the couple uttering their pet names for each other that are just as obscene as they are romantic and driving off into the horizon, you see that even in it's darkest hours, life is beautiful. It's hard to get that from an ordinary movie, to say the very least.
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Two for the Road (Widescreen) (Bilingual) [Import] by Stanley Donen (DVD - 2005)