Taking Off (1971)
Czech filmmaker Milos Forman's first American production stars Linnea Heacock as Jeannie Tyne, a runaway teenager. While she wanders aimlessly around New York, her suburban parents, Lynn (Lynn Carlin) and Larry (Buck Henry), desperately search for their "missing" daughter. Larry and his best friend, Tony (Tony Harvey), inaugurate a search, but their expedition is sidetracked by a drinking binge at a local bar. Meanwhile, Lynn and Tony's wife, Margot (Georgia Engel), begin discussing their sex lives. Jeannie does finally return home, to constant questioning by her parents about which drugs she has taken; later, after Lynn and Larry join a support group for the parents of runaway children, they turn around and get stoned on marijuana themselves during one of the group meetings, then lapse into a randy game of strip poker -- little realizing that their daughter is close at hand and within earshot. As a critically revered lampoon of late-'60s sensibilities, Taking Off is full of "unknown" Manhattan-based performers who became famous during the '70s and '80s, including Paul Benedict, Vincent Schiavelli, Allen Garfield, Audra Lindley, and, in fleeting roles as auditioning singers, Carly Simon, who performs "Long Time Physical Effects," and Kathy Bates (billed as Bobo Bates), who performs "Even the Horses Had Wings." … More
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Critic Reviews for Taking Off
Mr. Forman's specialty is tender farce played out in what are, essentially, very bleak circumstances.
An engaging, episodic, wonderfully fair-minded satire about runaway children and anxious adults.
Forman's career pivot point between Prague's film-school halls and the Oscars podium is still a prime example of the way a foreign director can apply an outsider's perspective to something like Nixon's Amerikkka and draw blood.
Czech director Milos Forman applies subtle European sensibility to his American directing debut, a bittersweet satire of family mores and manners in times of change.
Forman's first American film is an idiosyncratic and original take on the generation gap.
At the time of its release, critics welcomed the Czech-born Forman's skewed perspective on a transitional period of American culture, but today the film, like so much else from the late 60s and early 70s, can best be appreciated as a historical curio.
Audience Reviews for Taking Off
This is a little gem from Forman's early days. I enjoyed it, although it gets a little long at times. It's good to see Lynn Carlin, too.More
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