American Fable is ambitious, maybe too much so sometimes, but there's an intense pleasure in the boldness of the film's style.
Paul Mazursky’s “Blume in Love” begins with a busted-up Southern California marriage.
The marriage belonged to Blume, divorce lawyer, and his wife Nina, a social worker. It busted up all of a sudden one weekday afternoon when Nina came home with a cold and found Blume in bed with his secretary. Why, you may ask (Blume certainly does), could his wife not forgive this indiscretion--especially as Blume is madly in love with Nina and must have her back or die? (“And I don’t want to die,” he reasons, “so I have to get her back.”)
Well, maybe Nina was sort of halfway ready for the marriage to end. She’s into her own brand of self-improvement and women’s lib, and isn’t sure she approves of marriage anymore. She takes up with an out-of-work (for 12 years) musician who lives in a VW truck with his dreams. She gets into yoga and learns to play the guitar and to rely on herself instead of men.
Little good that does Blume, whose love for her becomes a consuming passion. It is complicated by the fact that he gets to like the musician, too: thinks, in fact, that the bearded Elmo is the nicest man he has ever met. Blume even goes so far as to start a beard himself. But nothing will work for him, because of the fact he refuses to accept: Nina simply does not love him anymore. Does not. Period. Blume is driven into a frenzy of love, desire, frustration.