peteg's blog - noise - movies - 2022 07 25 DiaryOfAMadHousewife

Diary of a Mad Housewife (1970)

/noise/movies | Link

Another Matthew Spektor pointer to what I think he deemed to be the best of the director Frank Perry / writer Eleanor Perry partnership. It sort-of works, as a portrait of a social-climbing NYC marriage in the late 1960s, if you remember that it is entirely from the wife's point of view. Lead actress Carrie Snodgress, a bit Sarah Jessica Parker (the face, the accent, the preoccupation with sex at the expense of all else), got an Oscar nom for her efforts. Nevertheless the repetition and boorishness is hard to endure — her lawyer husband Richard Benjamin seemed to be a straitened Z-Man from the superior Beyond the Valley of the Dolls — and while that may be the point it doesn't make for a good movie. Maybe they needed a montage? Or some brutal edits, or more interiority.

The only saving grace is a young Frank Langella, with hair, playing a ladies man in the mode of Leonard Cohen. He put me in mind of a built out Cillian Murphy. The credits roll over a group therapy session that accuses the housewife of having merely first world problems.

Roger Ebert: three stars. More details at Wikipedia.