A Perfect Couple
Time Out saysAltman hits a note of surprising magic here, commenting on cinematic traditions of romantic comedy even as he updates them. The lovers (Dooley, Heflin) meet through an LA video-dating service. He's an ageing antique dealer, driven to the bureau by his entombment in a repressive Greek-American family; she's an aimless waif who lives and sings in a communal rock group tyrannised by its lead singer. Music is as focal as it was in Nashville: the classics in which Dooley's family are steeped, versus the Easy-Listening raunch which Heflin peddles. Though both commune and traditional family are shown to be equal parts alluring and lethal, the search for togetherness is treated with a satirical sympathy, so that the happy ending - clearly recognised when it comes as a slyly structured fantasy - works as a real reward for both lovers and audience.