Two for the Road

Tagline : They make something wonderful out of being alive!

Runtime : 112 mins

Genre : Drama Romance Comedy

Vote Rating : 7/10


Reviews for this movie are available below.

Plot : On the way to a party, a British couple dissatisfied with their marriage recall the gradual dissolution of their relationship.

Cast Members

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Reviews

How long are you going to resent the past? Two for the Road is directed by Stanley Donen and written by Frederic Raphael. It stars Albert Finney and Audrey Hepburn. Music is by Henry Mancini and Christopher Challis is the cinematographer. Film basically deconstructs in non-linear fashion the relationship between Joanna (Hepburn) and Mark Wallace (Finney). Set out on the road as the couple meet, go on vacation, fall out and make up, narrative is threaded over a 12 year period. Donen and Raphael have crafted a picture that takes the many emotional strands of a man and woman relationship, and lays them out bare for us all to see. It's this honest like approach, coupled with the two watchable lead actors, that really engages me personally. There's moments of fun, slapstick even, but these are always coupled to an onset of sadness or regret, making this neither comedy or drama, but a near perfect fusion of the two - or bittersweet to coin an actual word for it. Mancini's music is sweet and breezy, the title track apparently one of his personal favourites, while Challis' Panavision photography is often beautiful. There's some credibility stretching with Hepburn playing her younger self, and one on going gag is overcooked in the extreme, but Two for the Road still feels fresh and interesting to those willing to invest fully in the thematics of the human marital condition. Film also signs off with a killer bit of dialogue from the protagonists that you wont be able to forget. 8/10

"Joanna" (Audrey Hepburn) and husband "Mark" (Albert Finney) are taking a road-trip to the South of France where they are to attend the opening of a home designed by him for "Maurice" (Claude Dauphin) and "Francoise" (Nadia Gray). It's clear from the outset that this couple's days in the sunlit uplands have long passed and that they are really now just going through the marital motions. Along the route, though, Stanley Donen introduces us to this couple - using flashbacks - and we we discover the happier times as they met, commandeered an old jalopy, made love under the stars etc... We are also presented with the scenarios that led to the cracks developing, to their loss of trust in each other, to their own equally selfish behaviour and ultimately bringing us to the point where start. Is it all irredeemable? To be honest, that didn't really matter. What we have here is an electric relationship portrayed by two stars who have a genuine, natural, chemistry together. Finney, particularly, looks like he is genuinely enjoying his time and Hepburn just oozes a joyousness and flightiness that makes the love story compelling and engaging to watch. As it develops, both grow up and we have to grow up with them - an experience that we all, however reluctantly, have to endure with always unpredictable results. The well constructed dialogue is authentic and frequently quite witty, and it is delivered confidently by two actors clearly at ease in the other's company. Henri Mancini delivers a delightfully suitable accompaniment to this tale of the lives and loves of two people who don't really know how, or why, they've got to this position in their lives and even in their latter stages, that still exudes an agreeable degree of joie-de-vivre!

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