Girlfriends (1978)

Girlfriends (1978)

Released: 1978
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Genre
Director: Claudia Weill
Starring: Adam Cohen, Eli Wallach, Melanie Mayron, ,
Run time: 86 min
IMDb: 7.1/10
Country: USA
Views: 35239


In New York City, Susan Weinblatt and Anne Munroe are longtime roommates and friends. Susan is a struggling photographer who wants to get out of the wedding and bar mitzvah racket, those jobs which she primarily gets through her friend, Rabbi Gold, to selling the photographs she wants to take, but she realizes that she has to pay the rent. Anne is an aspiring poet and academic who looks to Susan as her primary guidance. As they move into a new apartment, Anne drops the news that she will not be moving in as she is getting married to her boyfriend, Martin. This news is bittersweet for Susan who is somewhat happy for her friend, but isn’t sure if she likes all that Martin now represents to her. Both Susan and Anne will have to make professional and personal adjustments to their new situations, especially in what it means for not having the other as a constant in each their lives. While Anne has a “Martin”, Susan has no one currently to replace all that Anne has been in her life. So …
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User Reviews: Although several reviewers state that that this film is very difficult to find or view, it is included in Turner Classic Movie’s extensive library, so it should turn up there from time to time. I highly recommend "tcm on demand" which allows viewers a specific time frame in which to see films, and, thankfully, tcm has expanded these time periods for many, but not all, of the films.

Having personally experienced the New York City singles scene for a very brief period of my life during the 1980’s, not a very happy time for me, I admit that I was not inclined to watch this film based on the description alone, but I was pleasantly surprised by the complexity of the characters, their relationships, and the quality of the acting. The only reason why I was drawn to it was to see Eli Wallach in the unexpected portrayal as a rabbi, not knowing that this was not his only appearance in a movie as a rabbi. I have only known him as sleazy, unsavory characters, roles which he mastered beautifully on many occasions. As it turns out, Rabbi Gold does not guide the spiritual fulfillment of the central character, Susan Weinblatt (Melanie Mayron), as much as providing her with a livelihood as a photographer of life events and, eventually, the promise of a risky, romantic relationship, at least for a moment. This is not at all the rabbi that I expected, and I would have liked more Wallach as his role was not very prominent in spite of his high billing.

Both Mayron and Anita Skinner produce fine performances. I couldn’t, however, appreciate the male characters, who were very disagreeable to me, perhaps not by accident. Mayron’s memorable film debut occurred four years earlier as the young, free-spirited hitch-hiker in "Harry and Tonto", a very different person than Susan Weinblatt, which attests to her excellent acting skills.

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