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The Way We Were

Year: 1973
Studio: Columbia
Director: Sydney Pollack
Cast: Barbra Streisand, Robert Redford, James Woods
A surprisingly mature look at love. Not the mushy love story the famous title track by Streisand makes it appear, but an honest, engaging story about how being in love is so hard for two people (who are by their nature different) to do.

Streisand is Katie, an idealistic young communist, and Redford is Hubbell, an all-American blonde haired boy just out for some laughs and mild aspirations of fame in writing.

After spending their youth clashing on political grounds, they fall in love crossing paths years in the future, but their beliefs continually make live hell for them to enjoy domesticity; Katie can't stand the vacuousness of the American way of life and the life Hubbell has chosen at her urging, by encouraging him to follow his dreams of being a writer.

The acting and dialogue is superbly true to life by both leads, and all three (along with director Pollack) have an excellent grasp on the subtle nuances of the human personality, never lumping the characters into easy stereotypes. You've also never seen James Woods looking so young - this was the first film he made.

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