AN ALMOST PERFECT AFFAIR
US, 1978, 93 minutes, Colour.
Keith Carradine, Monica Vitti, Raf Vallone.
Directed by Michael Ritchie.
An Almost Perfect Affair is a bitter sweet romance. Directed by Michael Ritchie, better known in the 70s for satiric films like Smile, and the Bad News Bears - and in the 80s for a wide range of comedies including Eddie Murphy in the Golden Child, Goldie Hawn in Wildcats, Dan Aykroyd in The Couch Trip. It has a Cannes Film Festival setting - capturing the atmosphere of the glitz and the efforts of film makers to show their wares. Keith Carradine is good in the central role. Monica Vitti and Raf Vallone are relaxed in their roles as an Italian couple encountering the young American director.
A film of the 70s with strong characters, and believable.
1. A Romance, an affair? Credible? The background of the Cannes Film Festival?
2. French locations, the water, the beach, the hotel? The screenings? Musical score?
3. The title and its irony? The contribution of Hal? Maria? The affair having no future?
4. The festival, the bringing of films, the critics and the journalists, the stars and starlets? The censors and the problems? The hype for the movies? The difficulty for the independent movies? Jackson and his promoting Hal's film? Title, the posters, the possibility of his death, the deals?
5. Hal, his American background, his relationship with his wife? The tangle with the customs and the censors? His exasperation and anger? Encounter with Maria? The meeting again, the attraction, the incidents enabling them to meet, fall in love, the affair? The quality of the love, the question of passion? Ingles with his movie, Jackson and his help? getting the copy of the print? The screening and Hal being tongue-tied? Maria and her negative reaction? Hal and his exasperation, the accident? Trying to talk, cross purposes? Chase, on the boat drifting? The question of throwing his movie away but yet having the negative? The intensity of the relationship with Maria? His return, the airport, letting her go? The effect of the affair on him?
6. Maria, her background as a film star, her presence at the festival with her husband, the prospect of his film and its success? Her love for her child? Carlo and the others in the entourage? The chance encounter with Hal, interested in him, going out with him, talking and sharing? The affair, the passion? Watching the film, her objective criticisms? Her reaction to Hal, the crash of the car, the discussions with her husband? The question of going to Paris? Floating on the sea? Late for the premiere? The final decision, with her husband and child? The effect of the affair on her?
7. Freddie as the Italian director, his ambitions, commercialism, apprehensions about the premiere? His entourage? Tolerance towards his wife? How much did he know, understand? Allowing her to go off? Knowing that she would return?
8. Jackson, his film, friendship with Hal? Promoting for him, the deal? His girlfriend?
9. The Italians, Carlo and the entourage? The movie producers style?
10. The customs officer, causing difficulties, pedantic? The law? His watching the film? The questions about Hal being seen taking the film out of France and not returning with it?
11. Well drawn characters? Credible situations - in a glamour context? Love, passion, affairs and their effect?