An Unmarried Woman - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

An Unmarried Woman Reviews

Page 1 of 5
August 20, 2016
When the plot of a film is a very simple every day story that we've all scene and heard before, in order for it to win me over there has to be something special going on that draws me in. An Unmarried Woman failed that test miserably. This film is essentially a Lifetime movie that might not even make it to air nowadays. The story is literally: a woman's marriage falls apart and she deals with divorce. There's no interesting twist, no notable acting performance, and no intriguing dialogue. It's a flat film with a dull plot and bland actors. I was bored, annoyed, and utterly baffled that this was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. It seems that this movie might have been a product of its time, and dealing with divorce was something new that needed to be explored on the big screen. I simply don't think it has aged well, and it had nothing to offer that I enjoy when watching a movie. I made it through to the end, simply because I think once you've invested more than an hour in this woman's life, curiosity gets the better of you and you want to know how it will end. Sadly, it ended in the most predictable and lackluster way. There's nothing that I liked about An Unmarried Woman, and I somewhat regret wasting my time on it.
June 2, 2016
I was completely charmed by this film. The characters are smart and funny and feel real, especially the women. Kelly Bishop in particular is delightful as Jill Clayburgh's bipolar best friend. With its frank and thoughtful discussions of sex and relationships it definitely feels like a precursor to Sex and the City. The scenes of the four female friends drinking together and gabbing in the back of New York City cabs makes me think Michael Patrick King must have been inspired when creating his series some 20 years later. Even some of the saxophone heavy scoring is reminiscent and Carrie's outfit in the series' opening credits could easily have been an homage to Clayburgh's final costume in the film.
September 24, 2015
This is the only movie I have seen in the theater where people walked out. But they didn't just walk out quietly, they shouted obscenities at the screen and exited thru the steel emergency exit doors and slammed them shut. Yes, it was that bad.
July 30, 2015
Wow one of the most honest and in depth looks into a divorce I've ever seen. I couldn't help but feel her pain after her husbands reveal as well as her one friend Elaine emotional pain. It was a remarkable journey for her to be brave and get back out there again. By the end she has found her independence and a new love again. Predictably of course her husband tries to come back after his affair runs sour but it's too late. An actual uplifting film about divorce by the end and that's rare. I wish I had a group of gfs like that in real life. I knew after the marriage was over she would get it on with that hot italian charlie guy lol. Great performances and Once again a movie that makes me wish I lived in NY. Also I liked her wardrobe.
Super Reviewer
July 26, 2015
Paul Mazursky's poignant, observant and moving drama is his magnum opus as a director and writer. The film's greatest asset is the bravura turn by the late Jill Clayburgh who delivers the performance of her career, that earned her a richly deserved Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. Ms. Clayburgh plays Erica, a New York City, Upper East Side woman who seems to be doing all the right things until the day her husband of 16 years, played superbly by Michael Murphy, announces he's leaving her for another younger woman. Ms. Clayburgh's realignment of her priorities is fascinating to watch, and she slowly becomes an independent, strong, proficient woman who discovers her new sexual freedom. Brilliant direction by the late Paul Mazursky who also wrote the intelligent Academy Award nominated original screenplay with skillful attention to character details. Exceptional supporting performances by Alan Bates, Cliff Gorman, Patricia Quinn, Kelly Bishop, Lisa Lucas, Linda Miller, and Andrew Duncan. Nominated for 3 Academy Awards including Best Picture. Highly Recommended.
June 26, 2015
I enjoyed this but felt disconnected emotionally- it could have benefitted from pushing more boundaries and rearranging some scenes. The sex scene with the creep artist gets more chemistry than Alan Bates' does. Ultimately satisfying though, I enjoy her anger and I enjoy her choices to not look back. Great final scene as well.
½ May 13, 2015
Uma série de diálogos coloridos e a consistência dos personagens contribuem para que "An Unmarried Woman" seja bastante recomendável como filme sofisticado sobre a recuperação emocional de uma mulher. A localização nova-iorquina e a existência de um quarteto de amigas fazem crer que o filme de Paul Mazursky poderá ter sido uma forte influência na concepção de "Sex and the City". Jill Clayburgh tem também um papel que nos deixar a pensar no porquê da actriz não ter ido muito mais longe que isto na carreira.
½ January 2, 2015
Yes, this movie can feel dated at times but obviously any movie dealing with social issues will - that's the measure of progress! The 1970s were a time of great social change, when all of the "radical" ideas of the 1960s finally seeped into Middle America. This movie depicts that time of sweeping social change. Jill Clayburgh is wonderful as a woman who finds herself "unmarried" after years of being the perfect wife. She finds a new family in her friends, learns to stand on her own with support from her lesbian therapist, and discovers the pain and joy of overcoming her "fear of flying." This movie is the upside of that other 70a single-woman film, "Looking for Mr. Goodbar" so don't deny Jill her happiness. The final scene of her struggling with that huge canvas through the early era of SoHo is one of the classic images of 70s cinema - you just know she's going to make it after all.
November 29, 2014
I have not seen AN UNMARRIED WOMAN in almost twenty years. However this iconic film from 1978 was my very first adult film, alone at a movie theatre back when I was only fourteen [I saw it back-to-back with Woody Allen's MANHATTAN at the Place Ville Marie]. Watching it again, I really wonder if I even understood it. Nonetheless I remember it having such an impact on me. Seeing it again, this psychologically complex film still stings and most definitely resonates. It's a remarkable film of its time, the end of an era, a decade with women's lib hit its peak. Paul Mazursky's incisive script is punctuated by an outstanding, natural performance from the illuminating Jill Clayburgh. Even the throwback feel of the film, clearly dated but in a way that works in its favour, makes it identifiable even by today's standards. Why it works as well as it does? Most possibly because it's a movie about love, marriage, divorce and the human touch. Beautiful from start to finish with just enough optimism at the very end. Just like real life.
½ November 27, 2014
A subtle psychological drama. At times, the pace of the movie is much too slow. But Jill Clayburgh is always magnificent and touching in the leading role. She is also disturbingly real, and authentically beautiful.
½ November 23, 2014
Okay, right off the bat I'm pretty p.o. If you take your clothes off in front of your husband and literally stick your naked breasts in his FACE, while he's lying relaxed on your marital bed, and you then refuse to have sex with him... then you are a total beyotch from he11. That is all.
November 17, 2014
there's definitely a level of bravery involved here, both in the subject matter chose, and the way the issues are explored. i can't imagine there being a lot of female-centric films prior to this one, and this set precedent for an entire genre and movement of film. having said that, it lacked emotional authenticity and was unoriginal in terms of filmmaking and visual language. it's a shame that a film that was a pioneer in so many ways, failed on such a basic level. such wasted potential.
August 7, 2014
"An Unmarried Woman" wouldn't be a bold title today, but in the '70s, it was a statement, grounded in the feminist movement that was being shown through films like "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" and "3 Women". But the three films I've mentioned are not preachy, not trying to prove a point. They are, instead, films that portray women who are suddenly thrust into a world in which independence is a very real thing that they weren't so sure of before.
The lead character in "An Unmarried Women", Erica Benton (Jill Clayburgh), is given the bad news with a swift punch that is lubricated by crocodile tears. Her husband (Michael Murphy), has been seeing a younger woman for over a year, and decides that he would like to trade his domestic happiness for someone else.
Erica feels like she has been thrown into a pile of glass. Married for 16 years, with a well-adjusted daughter (Lisa Lucas), and a cushy lifestyle, she simply does not understand how her husband could suddenly go under the "terrible men" category.
For months, Erica can hardly control her emotions. She cries all the time, sometimes goes into inexplicable rages, and finds the idea of "dating" to be a scary thing. But in one of the best, most sad/funny scenes of the film, she has a one-night stand with a co-worker, because shit, she can.
She fiddles around for a while, exploring her newfound single life with no regrets - but when she meets Saul (Alan Bates), a British artist, she is hit with a love arrow that she thinks she isn't ready for. But Saul is everything her ex-husband wasn't. Rugged, confident, sensitive, and most importantly, actually interested in her. When he invites her to stay for the summer with him and his children in Vermont, Erica must decide if she is ready to commit again, or if she isn't quite yet done being an independent woman.
Mazursky's direction and writing is so phenomenal that I almost had to stop the film a few times just to absorb everything he presents. He so seamlessly makes the film funny, truly tragic, and full of realizations.
There is a memorable scene in the film where Erica and her close friends (who may as well be the second generation of "The Golden Girls") discuss how there aren't any women in movies these days as brassy and self-aware as Bette Davis or Katharine Hepburn - they are left with Jane Fonda and Barbra Streisand, who, despite being fantastic actresses, are more normal, less confident in themselves.
Yet, Erica is as interesting to watch as Davis or Hepburn ever were, maybe because she is as equally truthful or because she is so easy to care about. When Davis or Hepburn performed, you always felt like they were playing themselves, never truly putting on a grand performance that we could tell was fake. But Clayburgh is the exact same way - she throws her tears and laughs into the wind, and we can grab ahold of them.
In the beginning of the film, she dances in her underwear to "Swan Lake" in the lonely hours of the morning - Mazursky gives us enough intimate scenes like this to feel connected to Erica, and Clayburgh is so unabashedly unafraid that we want to be a part of her life. Later, when she invites Saul over for dinner to meet her daughter, I was possibly even more worried than her - what if Patti doesn't like him? If Mazursky's writing wasn't as great as it is, surely, I wouldn't be as overly concerned as I was.
"An Unmarried Woman" is not only a social statement, but a masterpiece in combining comedy and drama without any falsities. It's so flawless in tone that we feel as if we're watching life happen, and Erica is a character we want to take journey with. It's a moving, touching film. A must-see.
August 5, 2014
Writer-director Paul Mazursky passed away about a month ago so I thought why not see one of his major works. I have to admit that I was a bit hesitant. Would I like a film about a white woman from NYC going through a divorce made in the late 1970's after watching so many films and TV shows on similar subject matter over the years? The answer is yes! A good movie will always be a good movie. It helps that Jill Clayburgh was absolutely outstanding in the title role of a woman whose rug was pulled right from under her after her husband confesses he's in love with another woman. I hope no one misunderstand me for saying this but I'm kind of impressed that a man wrote a very feminist, very female-POV script all by himself!
½ July 17, 2014
Jill Clayburgh received a well-deserved Oscar nomination for playing an ordinary woman who goes through divorce and identity crisis in this quintessential New York movie that was championed by the feminist movement in the 1970s.
July 1, 2014
Clayburgh is a wonder but Alan Bates was so good and so to good to be true that his performance throws some people out of the movie. Once again, their loss.
Super Reviewer
½ May 20, 2014
The tale of the independent divorced woman had its beginnings in this Paul Mazursky helmed film; about Erica (Clayburgh), a wronged woman who begins living a new life when her scuzzy husband cheats on her with a younger woman. The narrative begins with their happy marriage, made better by her friend's jealousy, eventually derailed by her husband's confession. Erica is a proud, uninhibited, and lovable character, who finds herself thrust back into the world of dating after nearly twenty years, and does so with the vibrancy of a woman much younger. Through a high amount of self-esteem, confidence, and a good therapist, Erica dates once again, and finds independence, something a woman still barely earned in the late seventies. This film comes from a fresh perspective, and was the first instance of a film where divorce became a woman's new growth experience. This was the inspiration behind many contemporary films that deal with issue of starting anew, and this film does it best by showing a character who is harmonious to the upper class life, and throws it away for her own freedom's sake.
Super Reviewer
May 16, 2014
A bit dated but one of the first attempts to deal with the "modern" woman who often find themselves divorced and open to "temptation" Strong performances but a dated topic.
½ March 17, 2014
It's all about independence.
½ July 7, 2013
There's not much to say about this movie, other than it drags on a little too long.
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