Initial reaction: I knew how it was going to end, and I still teared up a little.
- Main Production Company: Columbia Pictures
- Director: Sydney Pollack
- Writers: Arthur Laurents
- Key Actors/Actresses: Barbara Streisand and Robert Redford
- Stand-out Performances: Barbara Streisand, both as actress and as singer on the title track
Yes, it’s true: I ruined the ending for myself earlier this year before ever viewing this film, but that, by no means, ruined the story. Like so many romances, it’s not necessarily important how the film ends – it’s all about the journey. The journey I experienced while watching this classic, brought to life by Streisand and Redford, is truly one for the ages.
I always enjoy a good “opposites attract” love story, but this puts all the others to shame. Katie (Streisand), an unconventional American communist during the age of WWII, then McCarthyism, falls for Hubbell (Redford), a preppy mainstream athlete, turned wartime sailor, turned writer. The film follows their relationship through college, the war, and afterward, both trying to navigate the other’s community and beliefs, all while holding onto their initial attraction.
Streisand stands out in her lead role, showing the challenges of staying true to oneself in a situation that demands compromise, and, as the 1970s would have it, even submission. Nonetheless, her character is a powerhouse woman who will not be silenced by her classmates, her colleagues, her rivals, or even by the love of her life. That said, both Streisand and Redford convincingly portray both sides of each argument and make you think about which ideals you would or would not compromise for the sake of love.
The Ruling: Worth multiple viewings, if you’re in the right mood.
Featured Image courtesy of Google Images.