Saturday, July 3, 2021

The Four Seasons

Movie Name:
The Four Seasons
Year of Release: 1981
Director: Alan Alda
Starring: Alan Alda, Carol Burnett, Len Cariou, Rita Moreno, Jack Weston, Bess Armstrong, Sandy Dennis, Elizabeth Alda, Beatrice Alda
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 4
View Trailer

Synopsis and Review:
After directing a few TV Movies, actor/writer/producer/director Alan Alda made his feature directorial debut with "The Four Seasons", which he also later adapted for a short lived TV show.
The film follows the story of three middle aged couples who vacation together quite frequently. During one of the vacations, Nick confides to Jack that he is divorcing Anne. Jack is taken aback by those news, something he then discusses with his wife Kate. In their following vacation, this time on a boat, Nick shows up with someone else, the lovely and much younger Ginny. The frolicking Nick and Ginny experience, starts causing both some exasperation and also some self questioning on the other two couples. As they navigate yet another vacation together, this time around during winter time, Nick and Ginny are now married, and as some additional secrets come to the surface, some friction makes its presence known.
"The Four Seasons" is somewhat of an interesting watch, since its populated with great actors, and the premise of the film itself is also quite arresting. However for all the situations that it sets in motion, for the most part Alan Alda doesn't really know where to take the narrative, or the fate of these characters. The film tries very hard to be somewhat of a digest of what Woody Allen did, both comically and dramatically, but never really manages to reach those heights. For all the dynamic setups that are staged between the characters, for the most part all of the couples are very much a riddle. It's a surprisingly shallow film when it comes to actually understanding much of the characters, even the slightly saltier Danny Zimmer, brought to life by the always great Jack Weston. It's also a film that doesn't really know what to do with its characters, as it's demonstrated by the disappearance of Anne after the breakup/divorce. It's interesting to compare this film with Woody Allen's "Husbands and Wives" for instance, since Allen's perspective on the disintegration of the relationship between the central couples, has far more insight, mixed with some good humor. "The Four Seasons" is ultimately watchable due to the talented group of actors who bring these characters to life, particularly the always wonderful Carol Burnett, Jack Weston and Rita Moreno. While not a terrible feature, it's not a very memorable one.