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Making Love

Arthur Hiller

Making Love
It's easy sport to make fun of a movie like Making Love, which tries its damnedest to be courageous but still toes the line of the day on what you can get away with in a big, mainstream picture. Zack (Michael Ontkean) is a doctor married to TV producer Claire (Kate Jackson). Though they seem happy, Zack is secretly cruising for men and meets writer Bart (Harry Hamlin), which gives him the "sexual identity crisis" described in the trailer. But though this might seem controversial for 1982, rest assured everything has been policed to be as tasteful, banal and un-erotic as humanly possible. Oh, there are loads of "important" material about careers and relationships, and when to have a baby, but the characters are so dull and their dialogue so ludicrously unmouthable that they seem like they're pitching a movie rather than performing in one. And the device of having Jackson and Hamlin break the fourth wall to discuss the man that got away further damages the film's credibility when the things they say sound patched together and silly. I suppose I should be mildly chuffed to see an '80s movie that's genuinely pro-gay (especially since Cruising came out only two years previous) but any goodwill is snatched away by the timidity of its depiction and the ridiculousness of its execution. The film has been widely mocked (including a famous Kids in the Hall sketch) for its refusal to play ball with gay sexuality (or any sexuality that might frighten the overgrown children who complain about such things); it's also notable for some of the most eye-rending, ugly interiors of any film I've ever seen. Still, it's an interesting marker of the times for those hardy enough to endure it. (Fox)
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