US, 1984, 92 minutes, Colour.
Griffin Dunne, Brooke Adams, Karen Young, Joshua Mostel, Dana Delany, Laura Dern.
Directed by Adam Brooks.
Almost You is a small-focused, comic drama about New York life. It focuses on Griffin Dunne, working in the garment industry, dissatisfied with his marriage. It focuses on Brook Adams as his wife, making demands on her husband, full of hopes.
The film was written and directed by Adam Brooks. It is in Woody Allen territory, the focus on a small group of people, their idiosyncrasies, their New York lifestyle and way of life. However, the strokes are broader and there is not an emphasis on verbal wit.
While the focus might be narrow, the film is well acted, and offers some insight into contemporary marriage.
1. A New York comedy, comedy of marriage, marriage break up?
2. New York City, the apartments and streets, the bars, factory, theatre? Musical score?
3. The title and its references? To Alex and Erica?
4. Alex and Erica, their marriage, the planned holiday, Erica's accident and hospitalisation? Alex by himself, Central Park and the stars, the encounter with Susan? His tension, the tension in the marriage?
5. Alex as a little boy, dependence on his mother, the pictures in the apartment, his job in the family firm, his promotion and not wanting to be promoted? The pressure of his relatives? Erica and California, his refusing to go on the holiday, the repercussions of the accident? Lisa and her working in his house? At the bar? His application for jobs and the interview with Kevin? The dinner party and the talk? His friends planning to marry, Kevin and his observations on marriage, the role-plays about seduction? The table talk? The morning after, the disturbance? Lisa in the apartment? His decision to leave with Lisa, resigning from his job, leave Erica? The confrontation between the two? His wanting Erica's permission? His going to the theatre, seeing Lisa and Kevin? The effect? Meeting Susan, the encounter with her, his phone call and his coming home? Insight into a character? His marriage commitment, wandering, marriage as a refuge, as a choice?
6. Erica as strong, the holiday, the accident and its effect, hospital, coming home? Her interactions with Lisa, Lisa as strong with the therapy? Her reactions? The party, the table talk, the friends, Kevin, the role-plays? Drinking, her collapse? The morning after? Sensible, interactions with Lisa? Her reaction to Alex's announcement about his leaving? Going out into the snow, waiting for him to return? Portrait of a strong wife? Her demands of commitment?
7. Lisa and her work, the encounter with Erica, the interactions, at home? Her clash with Kevin? His following her? At the bar with Alex? Helping in the home, the meal, staying? The role-plays and her contribution? Staying the night, innocently? The continued clashes with Kevin? Alex's offer, her packing, going to the play, her response, staying with Kevin?
8. Kevin and his moodiness, following Lisa, the rehearsal, his going to the job application and his performance, friendship with Alex, invitation to dinner, observation, role-play? His detached stance? The scene in the morning, the performance, the success, his career, reconciliation with Lisa?
9. Alex’s relatives, the firm, the job, the uncles and their pressure, the discussions?
10. The marrying couple and their story, their meeting, living together, decision to get married?
11. Susan, divorce, the stars, wanting a relationship with Alex, his visiting her, her talking about enjoyment? The New York single?
12. New York, city life, people growing up, commitment and marriage, love and marriage, work and career? Possibilities?