On their third identical voyage from London to the Riviera, Joanna Wallace (Audrey Hepburn) and husband Mark (Albert Finney) explore their 12-year marriage in a series of wry and illuminating flashbacks. They reminisce about the glorious beginning of their love affair, the early years of marriage and the events that led to their subsequent infidelities. As they try to understand their relationship, they must accept how they have changed if they are to rekindle their original love.
Best known for light, entertaining musicals such as Singin' in the Rain, director Stanley Donen grew more adventurous (and less successful) in the latter stages of his career, but this edgy romantic comedy from 1967 has proven to be one of Donen's best, most enduring films. Jumping back in forth in time, the film chronicles the marital ups and downs of a stylish British couple (Albert Finney and Audrey Hepburn) as they travel on various vacations over the course of their 12-year marriage. The separate vignettes combine to form a collage of joys and pains as the young couple struggles to maintain their fading marital bliss. In this regard, the film is refreshingly sophisticated in its treatment of the difficulties of long-term commitment, and with Hepburn and Finney in the leads, great performances are drawn from the acerbic wit of Frederick Raphael's screenplay. Fashion mavens will also marvel at Hepburn's astonishing wardrobe of late-'60s fashion--she's a showcase for summer couture, looking fantastic in everything from candy-striped bellbottoms to hip sunglasses and outrageously stylish hats. Some of the melodrama clashes with forced comedy (such as tiresome running gags or a cartoonish portrayal of crass American tourists), but that doesn't stop Two for the Road from being timelessly appealing and truthful to the challenge of lasting love. --Jeff Shannon
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