That Old Feeling

The underrated Carl Reiner (All of Me) directed this carnivalesque romantic farce, written by Leslie Dixon expressly for Bette Midler. The form and style are traditional Hollywood–closer to Hollywood of the 30s and 40s than to that of today–but the film comes across as positively rebellious in the present conservative climate. The long-divorced and feuding parents (Midler and Dennis Farina) of a straitlaced bride (Paula Marshall) desert their spouses at the wedding party to go off on a fling, and before the picture’s over, bounds of propriety concerning marital fidelity, class, and age have all been joyously crossed. This celebration of middle-age sex and paean to irresponsibility has its share of broad characterizations and predictable plot turns, but Reiner and his actors know what they’re doing every step of the way–and they have a ball with it. With Gail O’Grady, David Rasche, Jamie Denton, and Danny Nucci. Ford City, Gardens, Lake, Lincoln Village, 900 N. Michigan, Norridge, Webster Place. –Jonathan Rosenbaum

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): film still.