Two for the Road (1967)

Two for the Road (1967), produced and directed by Stanley Donen.

Scenes from a marriage that was probably a mistake. It's both funny and bitter, like the dark side of romantic comedy. Witty but often cruel sniping.

The story jumps around in time, all during travels in France, from their first meeting to vacations in later years. The director said these were not really flashbacks, as their history was always with them. As they say: the past isn't over -- it isn't even past.

Who is at fault? If they were mismatched from the beginning then it is no one's fault, and how would young people know that anyway? She is the more likable character and tries to accommodate him. He is a pill and more self-centered.

Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney do great work here. We are so used to seeing her elegantly dressed by Givenchy that it is startling to see her in student jeans, then in off the rack items, getting to designer clothes later in life. In fact: her clothes and hair are the chief clues given us as to the time period of each scene. That and the cars they drive.

A funny bit: after (first?) sex she says "I dreamed a train ran through our bed last night" and they joke about it: Dr Freud cover your ears, etc. Then she opens the curtains and a train does run by on tracks right outside their hotel window.

Years later they are about to have sex in their car and she says "I've always loved happy endings" which, if I'm understanding her, is the earliest use of that particular euphemism I've seen in film.

Young Jacqueline Bisset has a couple of scenes. The director said he was stuck speechless by her beauty when she walked into his office. That's not her voice; she was gone during dubbing.

Eleanor Bron and William Daniels are delicious as an awful American couple with a spoiled devil child. Who never worked in film again; maybe she was too scary?

Score by Henry Mancini, photographed by Christopher Challis. Gorgeous color and composition.

Available on Blu-ray from Twilight Time with a beautiful image. One commentary track by Nick Redman and Julie Kirgo and another by the director.