Comedy | Drama | Romance
Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, Judy Davis, Sydney Pollack, Juliette Lewis, Liam Neeson, Lysette Anthony, Cristi Conaway, Timothy Jerome, Ron Rifkin, Bruce Jay Friedman, Jeffrey Kurland, Benno Schmidt, Nick Metropolis, Rebecca Glenn, Galaxy Craze, John Doumanian, Gordon Rigsby, Ilene Blackman, Blythe Danner, Brian McConnachie, Ron August, John Bucher, Matthew Flint
When their best friends announce that they are separating, a professor (Woody Allen) and his wife (Mia Farrow) discover the faults in their own marriage.
After the funny "Shadows and Fog", Allen goes serious again with "Husbands and Wives", a sensitive, mature film about the nature of marriage.
Allen has treated this territory a bit too much already, so the story itself is nothing new, presenting another quarter of sophisticated New Yorkers neurotics falling in and out of marriage, but he still successfully manages to show what makes a marriage fall apart.
If the story doesn't seem like a good reason to watch the film, the characters should because they all are very interesting and complex, from Allen's character, the brilliant professor-novelist wooed by his twenty-year-old student 'trapped' in a passionless but intellectual marriage, to Liam Neeson's secondary character, a romantic man who just falls for the wrong woman.
The most interesting aspect is the documentary-style that the film adopts that gives the impression of fragments stolen from the life of the characters, and manages to wonderfully show how and why a relationship changes. This is what makes the film feel even more like an autobiography of the real downfall of Woody Allen and Mia Farrow's marriage.
The cast is excellent, from Sydney Pollack and especially Judy Davis, who play a bored married couple announcing a trial separation, to Woody Allen and Mia Farrow, the shocked couple of friends. It must be said that this is one of Allen's finest performances, as he kind of dismisses the nerdy character to be a more reserved and human one. Juliette Lewis is also good as Allen's student, and Liam Neeson - it still feels weird to see him younger and in love - does a decent job.
Gabe: Change equals death!
Judy: What kind of bullshit? That's just a bullshit line! Maybe you fool your twenty-year-old students into thinking that's some kind of a, an insight or something, but it means nothing! Change is what life is made of! Change - if you don't change, you don't grow, you just shrivel up!