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Featured Movie Reviews

The Four Seasons

An enjoyable comedy/drama with an all-star cast, 1981's THE FOUR SEASONS tells the tale of three New York couples that vacation together four times a year.

We visit them for one transformation filled trip around the calendar, seeing each of their vacations as relationships change, marriages fail and laughter and tears flow.

Alan Alda and Carol Burnett are Jack & Kate, Rita Morena and Jack Weston are Claudia and Danny, a hypochondriac dentist and his outspoken Italian bride and Len Cariou is Nick, who splits from his brooding bride Anne (Sandy Dennis) and hooks up with the young Jinny (Bess Armstrong between the Spring and Summer getaways.

It's an enjoyable time dropping in on friends, structured similarly to "Same Time, Next Year".

As the year goes on, each character's opinions and eccentricities begin to endear or grate on the others.

Nick's divorce of their long time friend Anne is the biggest bomb, creating jealousy and anger among the couples.

Writer/Director Alda does a nice job setting each vacation in a unique and beautiful spot, from a summer sail in the Virgin Islands to a snowbound ski lodge.

Written by Alda in his heyday of "M*A*S*H", it displays much of the same wit and pathos, but like Neil Simon often does for me, it begins to ring a bit false in the fact that every character always seems to have the perfect witty comeback or cutting line at the ready. It's a tad scripted.

Regardless, the cast is terrific and Burnett and Moreno create real women you care about. Burnett is an underrated actress and shines here. Poor Sandy Dennis always seems stuck playing neurotic brides that drive their husbands mad, from "Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf" to "The Out-Of-Towners". It's nice to see the arc of her character here and her last line is damn near perfect.

Set to Vivaldi's music and heralded by leisurely scenes of the changing seasons, each chapter dives a bit deeper into these couples lives.

If you're like me, you'll enjoy popping in on these old friends for a dose of laughter and a dash of conflict.

We'll give them a smile and a B.

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