Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

09 July 2008

Thursday's Game, dir. Robert Moore (1974)

NIKKI says:
You know, sometimes the afternoon is just the right amount of ripe for an old TV movie. This one is so deeply reminiscent of later Rob Reiner relationship dramas like When Harry Met Sally and The Story of Us that you can perhaps see where Reiner, who shows up in this, might have received some inspiration. The movie hinges on its boys-night-out premise, but it's really about men, and what they experience as they get older. It's a men-have-feelings-too kinda movie, and the writing is sharp, just what it needs to be to make a movie like this work.

Gene Wilder and Bob Newhart play two members of poker group that meets every Thursday. When the game breaks up, instead of giving up their night out, Bob and Gene decide to keep news of the break-up from their wives and continue getting together each Thursday for drinks, dinner, and whatever else takes their fancy. They start to build a strong friendship. Thursday becomes the night to unwind, and to unload their frustrations, intimidations, and general feelings.

Wilder is concerned about finding and keeping work, he is worried about his son, and confused about his relationship. He is the focus of the film, and it's his exploration of middle-aged manhood we become most interested in. Does marriage and work mean a man must endure an amount of loneliness, or should one be happy all the time? Newhart, conversely, is wealthy, yet concerned that he may have outgrown his older-woman wife.

The discussions the men have are touching and honest. It's funny, confronting, and seems kinda before its time way back in 1974, when women were the ones taking greater control of their lives. A bit of a male answer to the feminist revolution. It's a good movie. Reiner should remake it.


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