year: 1970
director: John Cassavetes
rating: **

In real life people often forget what to say – or have nothing to say. They reach around for the right word at the right moment and there are many uncomfortable silences. Real people rarely look each other straight into the eyes when talking (or listening to someone else talking) as happens in movies. There's no script in life and often no point, but when we watch a movie we WANT a point because our lives are often pointless; or at least FEELS that way. And life can be very annoying. Which brings me to the case at hand. This film IS annoying, like life... but the problem is it really doesn't go anywhere interesting. At least not for me. There are some WONDERFUL moments when the story – of three men who just lost their best friend having drinking binges from New York to Europe – rears its head and the camerawork is often quite brilliant. But most of the time we're stuck with too many pointless bouts of talking and singing, or singing and talking, or drinking and talking and vomiting and singing and talking and gambling and talking and singing and more and more talking, during which I feel a little TOO aware of the obvious improvisation from otherwise brilliant actors John Cassavetes, the leader, sort of; Ben Gazzara, sort of a jerk; and Peter Falk, being himself... sort of. Or something...

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