Movie Review: The Way We Were

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Rating: 4/5 

I would like to take a moment to mark a momentous occasion. I just finished watching The Way We Were with Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford and I have never felt stupider. I understood maybe 1/3 of the movie's subplots and to be honest even that is pushing it. 

Yes, the movie was made in a bygone era and it refers to events and politics of a bygone time, but gee whiz you would think I caught on to at least one of the threads of reference going on. Nope!
I didn’t. Most of the topics went whizzing past my head, leaving me brow furrowed, opened mouthed and confused. 

I know what you are thinking. Missing one or two political references or themes shouldn't be a big deal in the overall scheme of understanding the movie or it's nuances. And for any other movie, I would agree with you. But when you are watching a movie where a lot of the friction between the characters is caused by the afore mentioned political situation/climate; then you are missing a good chunk of juicy meaty movie. 

(anyone else see the Brad Pitt connection? #hubbahubba)

Which is frustrating to say the least since the pairing of Robert and Barbara was so refreshing, odd yet weirdly perfect. I wanted to enjoy their chemistry and the back and forth bantering, but I spent half the time concentrating on the stupid politics and trying to understand the references, making me completely miss a lot of the 'romance.' So annoying because they were like two pieces of a puzzle you think wouldn’t fit together but then they do. But in this movie's case, they don’t. Confused? Hah!  Join the club homie. #grumblegrumble

I googled the movie half way through before I lost my mind. 
Let me hook you up. 
So apparently Barbra and Robert kept 'frictating' (yes i made that up) and splitting up because they had different political views and ideologies.

Umm. That’s not what I got from watching.

I like what Wikipedia had to say about the matter:

Katie and Hubbell decide to part when she finally understands he is not the man she idealized when she fell in love with him and will always choose the easiest way out, whether it is cheating in his marriage or writing predictable stories for sitcoms. Hubbell, on the other hand, is exhausted, unable to live on the pedestal Katie erected for him and face her disappointment in his decision to compromise his potential.

I agree.

What I got is two people wanting to love and be loved by the one person they connect with inspire of all the differences under the sun. And doing just fine mind you, until the world and life got in the way. #asusual

Everything else is just gibberish. The political issues they talk about, or more often don’t talk about, the rallys they do or do not attend, it’s all fluff in my opinion. The actual political issues weren’t the problem. It was never about whose opinion was right or wrong, it was never about who to support or not to support. I never once found them on either side of an issue, arguing the pros and cons of the issue. It was mostly Redford not wanting to engage and not allowing her to engage either. His pessimistic view of life and politics continually warring with her optimistic take on life and her ability to bring about change. 

I wish Redford could have let her be the woman she wants to be, having a voice and letting her use it. I think his lack of opinion and concern and consequently therefore lack of understanding as to why she needed to voice her opinions, sometimes loudly, sometimes violently. If only he respected her passion. He didn't have to agree with her, he didn't even have to understand it. All he had to do was give her the space and the respect. 

On the flip side, I wish she had afforded him that same respect. His lack of care or concern for politics or issues is his choice and his choice alone. She might hold him to a higher standard and a higher ideal but honestly, who is she to judge him? And to find him lacking? After awhile it's got to sting that your wife isn't satisfied with who you are and how you chose to live life. I wish she had respected him and his choices as well. 

I just wish they had agreed to disagree. 
Sigh. If only. 

Here's a scene that resonated with me and in my opinion, was the crux of the matter.

Fast forward to 1:57:20. 

This is the whole movie btw, in case you wanted to watch. Sorry for the bad quality!

Considering the movie was released in 1973, the fact that I was able to watch it in 2016 and still get emotionally involved (when am I not you ask #lol) and still enjoy it(barring my annoyance at my ignorance of political issues) speaks volumes for the movie.
Of course, it doesn't hurt that Robert Redford is mucho caliente.

I would have given the movie a 5 but for the fact that politics seemed to drown out the main story, the romance, in my opinion. On second thought, maybe that was the intention?
Regardless, I would have liked a little more coochie cooing and a little less fighting, just because the pairing is so refreshing and worked so well. I think it serves as a testament to the wonderful job the actors did. I've spent the whole review talking about the story and feeling for the characters, completely forgetting that it was the delivery of the actors that allowed me to do so. Everyone knows what brilliant actors they are but it never hurts to say nice things does it.
The soundtrack to the movie was perfectly co-ordinated and timed, but what else can you expect with a powerhouse like Barbra on board?

Katie (Barbra Streisand): “Wouldn’t it be lovely if we were old? We’d have survived all this. Everything thing would be easy and uncomplicated; the way it was when we were young.”
Hubbell (Robert Redford): “Katie, it was never uncomplicated.” 


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