A CHANGE OF SEASONS -- AMC Skyline, Flower Twin, NTI Springfield Riverdale Plaza, Roth's Parkway, Roth's Tysons Corner, Showcase Beacon Mall, Tenley Circle, Wheaton Plaza.
Suppose a man who had professional acclaim, an income permitting any luxury he fancied, perfect health, and an attractive and devoted mate, assessed his life as he reached the age of 40, and concluded that it was pretty good. Suppose he noted that so many lives are racked with illness, poverty, and professional and personal disappointments that he had reason for deep satisfaction, if not smugness.
All right, maybe it wouldn't make much of a movie. But, then, neither do any of the menopause comedies which have been appearing so often, in which the 40-year-old male (or sometimes a female of the same age) has moaned that money, success, love, etc., are "not enough."
The latest should have been called "A Change of Life," instead of "A Change of Seasons." It was written by Erich ("Love Story") Segal, to Henry Mancini tunes.
As in "10," one of the earlier of this genre, its answer to what would be enough is Bo Derek. The 40-year-old victim of society is a college professor whose income allows him to keep a substantial second house in choice skiing country. Anthony Hopkins plays this role as a nervous and selfish little grey man who is the beloved of a rich young student, in the person of Bo Derek.
But whereas "10" and the other previous films showed all women unwavering in their adoration -- the deserted ones waiting their turn while the replacements satisfied their inexplicable lusts for these whiny men -- this picture shows the idea of middle-aged dissatisfaction spreading to the wife.
Shirley MacLaine, whose last film, "Loving Couples," was one of the female versions of the story, plays the wife. At first this character claims still to believe in fidelity and to feel betrayed, but soon she, too, discovers the joy of romping with youngsters, and in the end exults that her husband's infidelity "gave me my freedom." Her only wish, in sending off her daughter to marry someone she has just met, is "You two have a nice life together. At least have some fun."
So now both the goose and the gander are on the sauce, and wishing it on the goslings.