Friday, January 5, 2024


Girlfriends (1978) - Weill Screen Shot 2024-01-05 at 10.29.45 AM Screen Shot 2024-01-05 at 10.31.52 AM Screen Shot 2024-01-05 at 10.32.34 AM Screen Shot 2024-01-05 at 10.55.26 AM Screen Shot 2024-01-05 at 10.32.58 AM Screen Shot 2024-01-05 at 10.33.10 AM Screen Shot 2024-01-05 at 10.33.40 AM Screen Shot 2024-01-05 at 10.35.01 AM Screen Shot 2024-01-05 at 10.35.47 AM Screen Shot 2024-01-05 at 10.36.21 AM Screen Shot 2024-01-05 at 10.39.49 AM Screen Shot 2024-01-05 at 10.41.14 AM Criterion recently put out the 4K restored version of Girlfriends and I can't recommend this film more. It's really fantastic. Susan (Melanie Mayron) and Annie (Anita Skinner) are roommates in a tenement apartment in New York City in the 70s. Susan is an aspiring photographer and Annie is a writer in the beginning of their career. They are best friends who can help each other out on their work when they need a second pair of eyes. Susan takes gigs as a photographer at bar mitzvah and weddings with the help of an older rabbi (Eli Wallach) at the local synagogue.

Things change with the news of Annie announcing that she is getting married and move to the suburbs. Susan is happy for her friend but also protests, "How can you marry him? You don't even know him!" It's a financial burden to cover the rent all by herself but also liberating to have her own space. Susan paints the wall red and starts going out with a young local artist she met at a party. Even though she spends most of the time in his apartment, she doesn't want to give up her apartment/independence. He could be annoying sometimes. She also starts relationship with the rabbi who is married.

Visit to Annie and Martin in the suburbs further illuminates the different life paths they took. Married life with a kid in the suburbs or being single in the city and struggling? Susan feels that their friendship is fading. On the way home, Susan picks up a young woman hitchhiker, Ceil (Amy Wright), a dancer who is very insistent about crashing at Susan's apartment until she gets her shit together. At first the arrangement is fine, but Ceil's inconsiderate behaviors are getting to Susan who needs her own space.

After landing a show in a downtown gallery with a very supportive, eccentric gallery owner, she invites everyone. But Annie doesn't show. Martin who came alone says that Annie's not feeling well. Susan decides to visit her by driving up to Annie's suburban house after the show. She finds out that Annie had an abortion. It turns out the married life is not what she thought it would be. They look at one another and share an understanding smile before Martin gets home.

Girlfriends is a very natural, great depiction of being a woman in the beginning of her career. It's not preachy in any ways and not judgmental about the characters it portrays. It's their decisions to make those life choices and will have to live with them. There is no wrong or right choice. There is only her choice. Independence is the key word in Girlfriends. Then there is sisterhood. It's a great film. Male supporting characters include, Bob Balaban and Christopher Guest.

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