Willie & Phil

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For sheer consistency in chronicling a decade's evolution of chic American manners, mores, and ménages, Mazursky has few rivals. But as Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice have been supplemented in his trend-spotter's log-book by the likes of Alex & Blume & Harry & Tonto (and the strangely anonymous Unmarried Woman), his satirical edge has become blunted to a dull indulgence. Accordingly, Willie & Phil - optimistically and improbably rhymed with Truffaut's Jules and Jim - are let off much too lightly as they pussyfoot around Margot Kidder (as the quicksilver Jeannette) while the '70s trickle away in the background. Undecided whether he's shooting an up-market buddy-love saga or simply shuffling a modish three-card deck, Mazursky piles on the nostalgic Age-of-Aquarius ephemera and shies away from the sexual grit, while Ontkean and the likeable Sharkey wrestle in awe with roles once earmarked for Pacino and Woody Allen. Wry, but on the rocks.

Release details

Duration: 116 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Paul Mazursky
Screenwriter: Paul Mazursky
Cast: Michael Ontkean
Margot Kidder
Ray Sharkey
Jan Miner
Tom Brennan
Julie Bovasso
Natalie Wood
Laurence Fishburne
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