In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb deadpool poster

Once Upon a Deadpool

Not just a heavily redacted version of the film that will be playing around the clock on basic cable in a couple of years.

Thumb spiderverse poser

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Directors Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman have breathed thrilling new life into the comic book movie. The way they play with tone, form…

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb tvovw7qjj63zbqw5tz8cjpthaud

Schindler's List

This was published on June 24th, 2001, and we are republishing it in honor of the film's 25th anniversary rerelease."Schindler's List" is described as a…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives
Other Articles
Blog Archives

Reviews

Making Love

  |  

Arthur Hiller's "Making Love" tells the story of a couple that has been married for eight years happily married, according to the evidence when the husband has an affair with another man, discovers that he is gay, and decides to leave his wife. "Making Love" is limited primarily to the characters' sexual identities. There would be no movie if the husband were not homosexual; this film has nothing else to be about. Its characters, as written, aren't open to the surprises of real life, because the movie is single-mindedly about the specific nature of their sexual dilemma.  

Advertisement

Since we already know the secrets when we start watching "Making Love" (the ads summarized the plot), we feel locked in; there's nothing to do but wait while the movie marches through its lockstep development. The stages are predictable: (a) introduction of the ideal marriage; (b) the husband's secret homosexual desires; (c) the other man; (d) passion and deception; (e) the revelation scene; (f) unhappiness and acceptance; followed by (g) a brave new tomorrow. 

Every scene and almost every line seems to be programmed to make an obvious point. This movie has some of the worst dialogue one can imagine:
She:"What about passions?"
He: "What about supports?"
She: "What about betrayal?" 

The movie stars Kate Jackson as the wife, Michael Ontkean as her husband, and Harry Hamlin as the homosexual writer Ontkean falls in love with. Jackson's a TV executive, Ontkean's a young doctor, and their marriage (pre-Hamlin) exists in one of those Hollywood wonderlands in which young couples figure they can meet the mortgage payments if they start brown-bagging their lunch. No attempt is made to present the marriage in messy human terms; it has to be boringly happy so that Jackson can be amazed when her husband walks out. 

And walk out Ontkean does, after some preliminary false starts. He visits a couple of gay bars populated exclusively by extras who look as if they should be posing for an "Ah! Men!" catalog. He drives down an alley lined with shoulder-to-shoulder hustlers. Then Hamlin comes into his office for a physical exam (the most cursory and incompetent such exam, incidentally, ever presented in a movie). Ontkean is attracted, asks him out to dinner, and the rest is predictable, right down to the obligatory scene in which Jackson tears her husband's clothes out of the closet and throws them on the floor. 

"Making Love" is essentially a TV docudrama, in which the subject is announced loud and clear at the outset and there are no surprises. People have described the movie to me in one sentence as "Kate Jackson finds out her husband is a homosexual," and they haven't left out much.

Advertisement

Popular Blog Posts

Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger?

This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...

The Baffling Failure of Fallout 76

A review of Fallout 76.

Video games can never be art

Having once made the statement above, I have declined all opportunities to ...

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus