The Way We Were (1973)
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
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In 1937 spit-fire Katie Morosky briefly meets the preppy Hubbell Gardiner. Almost eight years later, the two are reunited in New York, when leftist radio worker Katie spies military officer Hubbell in a nightclub. The two opposites fall in love and head to Hollywood so that Hubbell can write a screenplay for producer pal J.J. But the House Committee on Un-American Activities' Communist witch hunt in 1947 tears the pair apart, as a pregnant Katie refuses to keep silent about the jailing of the Hollywood Ten, while a faithless Hubbell decides to save his career. When the two meet again in the 1960s, TV writer Hubbell and nuclear protestor Katie feel that old pull again, but they have to decide if they have what it takes for the long run. … More
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Critic Reviews for The Way We Were
With the script glossing whole areas of confrontation (from the communist '30s to the McCarthy witch-hunts), it often passes into the haze of a nostalgic fashion parade.
It's easy to forgive the movie a lot because of Streisand. She's fantastic.
In Pollack's schmaltzy romantic melodrama, real politics is in the background (of course), but the movie is enjoyable as a star vehicle for its handsome stars, Redford and Streisand in their only film together, not to mention Hamlisch's melodic tone.
The politics are relegated to the background, and what is left is a commercially astute weepie.
An engrossing, if occasionally ludicrous, hit tearjerker with Pollack, Streisand, and Redford doing a good job of bringing Arthur Laurents' script to the screen.
Sentimental but not overly smaltzy
The story of Jewish left-wing ugly duckling and the WASP prince with whom she falls in love encapsulates its time and emotions with knowing precision.
Ultra glossy soaper that's frankly irresistible.
Syrupy and over-rated.
certainly a classic of its kind
Comes off as about as believable as a love affair between myself and a potted plant.
Audience Reviews for The Way We Were
This movie starts out with heated sociopolitical debate and a great feminist role model, but then brassy, independent Katie devolves into Overly Attached Girlfriend - fawning over Hubbell, the poor little rich boy with a streak of writing talent, who buys her a beer and patronizingly ties her freakin' shoe? (I hate all shoe-tying imagery in art! I hate it when looks-so-much-like-his-dead-mother Ginny does it to Harry Potter. I hate it when Ted does it to baby-talking Boats-Boats-Boats Becky on HIMYM. I surprisingly don't mind glass slipper symbology because it's quick, okay? You just slip it on. "It's the condom of our generation." Tying a shoe is a ham-handed, Oedipal commitment of a romantic gesture.)
Anyway, Katie essentially rapes him and ropes him into falling in love with her, but she's made to apologize so much for her tempestuousness and "wrong style" while Robert Redford's dead eyes glaze over in a masquerade of privileged, white, liberal ennui.
The flashback structure of the film's beginning is also wasted. I thought YEARS had gone by before they meet again and that the whole movie would be about their college relationship and "the way they were"... The movie gets so episodic after that inciting incident, documenting every bit of grueling conflict contributing to their doomed partnership.
A donnee or redemption moment nearly appears when Katie shouts, "You'll never find anyone as good for you as I am, to believe in you as much as I do or to love you as much!" but it's too late. They're still wrong for each other, but we're never given a convincing enough reason in the script or the performances for why they got together in the first place and why they stayed together for so long. And he never meets their daughter? Weird.
Highlight is Barbra Streisand's soaring mezzo-soprano in Marvin Hamlisch's titular song.
As much as I love Robert Redford this is definitely Barbra Streisand's film. If her performance doesn't impress and make you want to cry then her singing the theme tune will. I was however under the impression that this is one of Hollywood's greatest love stories. I would disagree to some extent on that but then again, I don't believe anyone but myself these days. A great Sydney Pollack film.More
Set against the background of political turmoil, a radical and a milquetoast writer fall in love.
A saccharine love story, when this film succeeds it's because Robert Redford was just absolutely dreamy in his prime. He was also a great actor, working with a subtle strength and playing off his natural magnetism. However, most of the time, there is little that any actor can do to save this meandering script. There is a certain truth to relationships that flounder because there is too much work involved, but this theme is more developed in real life than in cinema, and this film doesn't do much original.
I've never been a fan of Barbra Streisand as a cultural icon or as an actress, and while I can't say that there was anything horrible about her acting, there wasn't anything extraordinary either.
Overall, this film is another reason to love Redford, but the story is weak.
Saddest romantic movie you'll ever see. Redford and Streisand have beautiful performances as they star in this romantic classic from the 70s set in the late 30s and 40s about two completly opposite people struggling in a relationship. If you are are a true romantic like I am you'll love this Redford/Streisand classic. Love this movie :) You will too :) Just great :)More
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