We gave it a C
Made shortly before the VCR revolution, John Schlesinger’s epic of American GIs experiencing love and culture shock in World War II England has taken quite a while to come to video. Yanks is a good-looking but lumbering boy-meets-girl (Richard Gere and Lisa Eichhorn) story alternating clumsily with a man-meets-woman (William Devane and Vanessa Redgrave) story. Although the relationship between Gere and Eichhorn is a chemical fizzle, the quiet moments between Devane and Redgrave ring true; Schlesinger (Midnight Cowboy) has always been best evoking unlikely relationships.
Yet the sketchy story simply isn’t strong enough, nor the characters sufficiently involving, to sustain interest for nearly 2 1/2 hours. Here, however, video provides a distinct advantage: What’s excruciating over the long haul can indeed be palatable in sections. Viewed piecemeal, raise the grade to a C.