- Movie Rating -

A Change of Seasons (1980)

| December 5, 1980

I suppose that maybe I just have a good ear for human speech.  I don’t pretend to be the most social person in the world, but I am attuned to the normal speech patterns, so I’m familiar with the way that conversation tends to flow.  That’s a nice way of saying that it doesn’t sound anything like it does in A Change of Seasons.

This is yet another idiotic attempt to capture the current topic of broken relationship, divorces, extramarital affairs and family strife.  This was done very well in Kramer vs. Kramer and Ordinary People but then mangled in films like The Last Married Couple in America, Just Tell Me What You Want, Chapter Two, Lost and Found, The Promise, Oliver’s Story and California Suite.  Obviously, we’re getting more odds than evens here.

The problem with A Change of Seasons can be seen almost right away.  The producers know they have dud on their hands because all of the advertising is front-loaded with trying to sell the movie on the presence of Bo Derek.  She has a hot tub scene in this movie that dominates the movie’s trailer and also the poster despite the fact that her nude scene is less than three minutes, not even long enough for you to get popcorn and find a seat.  She plays a college co-ed named Lindsey Rutledge who is having a wet and naked affair with aging professor Adam Evans (Anthony Hopkins) and the rest of the movie deals with the fallout when his wife Karyn (Shirley MacLaine) puts it together that’s he’s having a wet and naked etcetera, etcetera.

The story – such as it is – has MacLaine deciding that since hubby can have an affair, so can she.  So, she hooks up with Pete LaChapelle (Michael Brandon) a much younger handyman who has a family backstory so hilariously tragic involving insecticides and truck accidents that it could make five movies-of-the-week.  The movie takes a tiresome turn as the two cheating couples decide to go away together on an awkward vacation in which they trade dialogue that no people in the history of the world ever exchanged.  Mary Beth Hurt, who plays the daughter, pops off some occasionally witty remarks but the whole movie is so infantile, so badly mismanaged, so unsavory that you want these people to just shut up, go away and never speak to each other again.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1980) View IMDB Filed in: Uncategorized