year: 1984
cast: Robert DeNiro, Meryl Streep, Harvey Keitel, Jane Kaczmarek
director: Ulu Grosbard
rating: **

Robert DeNiro and Meryl Streep are two married, successful New York suburbanites who, after seeing each other on the same train, meet in a store where they start a conversation ("Don't we ride the same train?") and accidentally take each other's gifts. On Christmas Morning, DeNiro's wife gets Streep's husbands gift (a book on boating); and Streep's husband gets DeNiro's wife's gift (a book on gardening). That's the most clever aspect of this bland romance full of mumbling dialog and uncomfortably-silent conversations between two people who, although they have perfect marriages and beautiful children, should know better: but just can't help themselves. The major love scene is as sexy as mom and dad humping on a rainy afternoon, but, at times, the snail-paced build-up has a sort of mellow voyeuristic quality liken to French cinema, only without any depth or purpose. Harvey Keitel plays DeNiro's recently-divorced buddy, and it's strange seeing the wily thugs from "Mean Streets" as upper-class Manhattan yuppies. The movie sort of happens for a while, and then it's done.

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