June 17, 2017
1230.) For my birthday episode this year I turn to another film that is commercially available but is too little shown, Lovers and Other Strangers (1970). Although they are primarily known as comic actors, with the Lovers play Renee Taylor and Joe Bologna entered the ranks of Herb Gardner and Murray Schisgal as playwrights just as funny and touching (in fact, more touching) than Neil Simon. As a movie, Lovers benefits from a sterling cast of character people, who are put in two camps – “the Italians” and “the WASPs.” The characters are also paired off as couples in the flirting/seduction stage, newly married, longtime married, and on-the-edge-of-divorce. Personal favorite plotlines include Bea Arthur and the sublime Richard Castellano (whose “what’s the story?” became an NYC catchphrase) dealing with an impending divorce in the family (the young wife is played by Diane Keaton, in her first movie role) and Funhouse fave Bob Dishy as an usher trying to have sex with a trippy bridesmaid (Marian Hailey).