Friday, May 24, 2013

Streaming Lives

Love Streams (1984) - CassavetesImage
Sarah (Gena Rowlands) is going through a horrible divorce. Her husband (Seymour Cassel) and their daughter don't want anything to do with her. She is not stable enough. For her, love never stops, it's a continuous stream. Then there is her brother Robert Harmon (John Cassavetes), a famous writer whose life is soaked with booze and one-nighters. They both are impulsive, nutty mess: they make rash decisions thinking as if they are the most logical solutions which always lead them into disasters. My favorite scenes with Harmon are the ones where hits up with a pretty lounge singer, insists on driving her home in her car while drunk, crashes her car and ends up chatting up with her mother, and where he gives his 8 year old son (of whom he hasn't seen since his birth) beer to drink and leaves him alone all night in a Vegas hotel. Sarah is just as crazy. She thinks her brother needs something to love in his life, something fuzzy and cuddly, so she goes to animal shelter and brings in the whole zoo into his LA house- two miniature horses, a hen and a dozen chicks, ducks, a goat and a dog. Harmon obviously is in no shape himself to take care of his nutty sister, but insists that she stays with him. But she is dead set on reuniting with her estranged family who doesn't love her any longer.

Cassavetes's world of the lives of mental, emotional wrecks is often funny and poignant precisely because of the character's complete lack of self-awareness. Both Rowlands and Cassavetes are amazing in this funny and sad film.