- Movie Rating -

The Last Married Couple in America (1980)

| February 8, 1980

The Last Married Couple in America is the most frustrating kind of movie that encounter – the kind in which all of the pieces of a great movies are in place but someone didn’t care enough to pull it all together into anything real.  The film comes right off the heels of the success of Kramer vs. Kramer and deals with the subject

George Segal and Natalie Wood play Jeff and Mari Thompson and well-to-do Los Angeles couple, in a very clever opening sequence, have become the minority statistic by actually keeping their marriage together while all of their friend’s marriages are falling apart.  Great!  Terrific!  Given that, I assumed it was going to be a film about a couple who learned to cope with one another through Thick and Thicker and eventually become The Last Married Couple in America.

But no.  They couple strays, they cheat on each other and the result is bad sitcom stuff with a lot of four-letter words.  Why they cheat on each other remains kind of a mystery.  The early scenes show the they do have a romantic and sexual chemistry so passionate that at one point they are lectured by a cop for making out in their car.

And the movie sinks even further.  In an effort to keep from actually dealing with any real issues, the movie segues into an embarrassing subplot about how one of their friends, Walter (Dom DeLuise) gets into the porn business.  This leads to a wild party attended by hookers and porn stars but the actual bacchanal that we expect never really happens – it’s a wild sex party with a PG rating.

I don’t really know what director Gil Cates was aiming for with this.  I guess he started with an idea about a couple whose marriage could survive the overriding divorce rate but he seems to have chickened out.  The picture devolves into a series of sitcom shenanigans and loses all hope of humanity.  He had something really special on his hands and he took the easy street.  What a let-down.

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