red tulips | copyright Jill J. Jensen

 

 

Two for the Road

Cast: Audrey Hepburn, Albert Finney, William Daniels, Eleanor Bron
Director: Stanley Donen
Theatrical release: 1967; available on DVD


Maybe your cable system or satellite service offers a movie channel (or six) where you can see classic films. Maybe you want to expand your DVD collection or put it in your Netflix queue. However you find it, this film from the 1960s is a gem.

Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney play the fiercely independent characters whose marriage is based as much on their barbs and insults as on their love for each other. While traveling through Europe in the 'present' day (very much styled of its late-1960s period), they remember other trips they've taken through the same countryside and through the various stages of their relationship.

Acclaimed director Stanley Donen used production techniques that were way ahead of their time to keep us on track with the leap-frogging flashback memories. His crew found a beach location near St. Tropez that served as both the initial "special place" and, later, the site of a house designed by Finney's character, an architect.

The clothes and cars are visible signs of the developing relationship and increasing affluence. But it's the dialogue and interaction that rings true to the ups and downs of every kind of relationship. These exchanges give the film its heart, reminding us that while we all change, the challenge is to figure out a way to grow up while not growing apart.

 

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