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Thursday, 2 November 2017

Retro Review: John & Mary (1969)

John & Mary
1969
Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Mia Farrow, Tyne Daly, Michael Tolan, Olympia Dukakis, Stanley Beck 
Genre: Romantic Drama
North American Box Office Gross: over $4 million 

Plot: Two young singles meet at a bar, sleep together, and spend the next day getting to know each other 





'Mary Mary Not Quite Contrary' 

Another earlier effort from Dustin Hoffman that is also largely forgotten about that lacks substance and doesn't attempt to say anything of real interest through the story and characters. As a romantic drama, John & Mary is remarkably comatose and flaccid & lacks any real romantic passion or believability. But then again, in Mary and John, these are two characterless young people who lack genuine chemistry & love for each other and to fulfil one another's desires. 

Hot off the successes of Rosemary's Baby & The Graduate, Mia Farrow is Mary with Dustin as John and the two have a one-night-stand. The rest of the movie takes place the morning after, but many of the scenes are shown in flashbacks. John & Mary turned heads for the press in 1969 as it was the first romantic drama where it showed two people sleeping with each other. 

The film starts off well, but as it progresses, it turns out that John and Mary have virtually nothing in common with each other, have nothing to offer to one another insofar as to their relationship, other than to sleep with each other and utter insipid and boring dialogue.  

It features an early appearance of Tyne Daly, who went on to star on Cagney & Lacey, there are scenes that occur without many contexts to them. Hoffman and Farrow try to liven up the film and bring more of their charm and energy to their roles, but unfortunately for all of their efforts, they are ultimately quashed by an incredulously flat and lifeless screenplay, where barely anything exciting or intriguing happens. When John & Mary get together, in the end, it just didn't feel real enough to me and the journey from point A to B was unconvincing. The narrative lacks momentum and the atmosphere is deafeningly sterile. 

Made and released before the turn of the 1970s, John & Mary doesn't fare well today and it all feels.... hollow. 





Final Verdict:


Unless you are a die-hard and avid Dustin Hoffman fan who needs to have this in your collection, John & Mary is largely uninspired, forgettable and not really worth your attention. 



Overall:

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