One of the great things about MIFF is that you get to see older films that you can’t easily access. I don’t book many of these as there are so many new films to see but I liked the sound of this 1978 one by director Claudia Weill. It’s a simple story about two room mates, Susan and Annie, whose friendship is tested when Annie moves out and gets married.
What we see is the very real struggle to adapt to a change in a close friendship where room must be made for other people. Susan feels adrift, trying to find work, navigating other friendships and relationships and questioning her choices.
I understand this film was groundbreaking at the time in how it explored female friendships, particularly with a lead, Melanie Mayron, who didn’t fit the ‘pretty, blonde, breezy’ stereotype of the time. Mayron, as Susan, is bespectacled, frizzy haired and Jewish but is endearing, sexy and what makes this film so engaging.
There have been a few films at MIFF this year set in the 70s – Girl Asleep, The Commune – and so it’s interesting to see a real 70s film and how the feel, decor and fashions differ. It was a treat to see a very young Christopher Guest and to be immersed in the life of a single woman.
Bechdel test – pass