American Fable is ambitious, maybe too much so sometimes, but there's an intense pleasure in the boldness of the film's style.
Barbra Streisand does it so well, it's almost unkind to wish for a change: She gives us bright, funny young girls who fall helplessly in love, in movies that seem to be about more than they are.
"On a Clear Day You Can See Forever" was like that, with its injections of mysticism and the occult; "Up the Sandbox" was like that, and pretended to be about women's liberation.
Now comes "The Way We Were," which is essentially just a love story, and not sturdy enough to carry the burden of both radical politics and a bittersweet ending.
Streisand plays Katie Morosky, and when we meet her in the late 1930s, she's the secretary of the campus Young Communist League.