The Way We Were

Opposites attract as Barbra Streisand as Katie Morosky, a fierce, militant Marxist student who is very vocal in her political views on the ongoing Spanish Civil War and Robert Redford as Hubbell Gardiner, a stereotypical athletic, privileged, apolitical, popular student find each other shortly after graduating University near the end of the Second World War. Gardiner has served in the war as a naval officer and is making his first efforts to return to civilian life, while Morosky is working at a radio station in New York City. Despite their massive differences, they are drawn together and form a relationship which presents many issues from external forces during their time in NYC.

Suddenly, Morosky and Gardiner find themselves in Hollywood and part of the Cinema’s elite through Gardiner’s fantastic natural writing ability – which the film glosses over nearly as much as I have until now. The film didn’t continue to retain much of my enthusiasm or interest once the couple entered Hollywood – which was a shame because the scenes just kept coming. It did feel as though writer Arthur Laurents was overindulgent in exploring his romanticised telling of his college to working to Hollywood years.

Nothing should be taken away from Streisand and Redford’s performances and their chemistry, of course which was absolutely fantastic. Credit is also due to the character development in showing how people can change over time and in different environments as well as how they can stubbornly refuse to change. One thing that leaves a sickly taste in my mouth is just how easy everything seems to fit in place for Gardiner. As much as I want to believe the nature of the plot it just seems strikingly simple and lazy writing.

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