Writer/Director Woody Allen has a gift for creating powerful and realistic dialogue in his films and HUSBANDS AND WIVES features one of his best screenplays.
Woody Allen and Mia Farrow (real life husband and wife at the time) are Gabe and Judy Roth.
When their best friends Jack and Sally announce they are getting a divorce, it rattles Gabe and Judy and they begin to see the fault lines in their own relationship.
Famed Director Sydney Pollack is a terrific actor and is very good as Jack. Feverish with mid-life crisis symptoms and drawn to a young woman that he has nothing in common with other than lust, Jack goes from tortured, to ecstatic, to confused.
His estranged wife Sally is brilliantly played by Judy Davis. Her insecurities are palpable, as is her long dormant self-confidence when she becomes involved in an office affair with co-worker Michael, played by a young Liam Neeson.
Allen has said that this film was one of the very few times in his career than reality encroached on a film. At the time that he and Farrow were filming their breakup scenes, their real-life marriage was collapsing and this was their last film together.
Juliette Lewis is very good as a young student drawn to Gabe in a classic student crush.
Look quickly for Nora Ephron and Blythe Danner in minor roles.
There are very few laughs in the film, save some of Allen's comments to Pollack when he meets the new young girlfriend, but there is plenty of realistic drama and tension as relationships break apart and sometimes emerge as something quite different.
Great cast, Great writing. One of Woody's most powerful films. These battling spouses get a solid A-.