Ty Burr
April 09, 1993 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Husbands and Wives

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
performer
Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, Judy Davis, Juliette Lewis, Sydney Pollack, Ron Rifkin
director
Woody Allen
genre
Comedy, Romance, Drama

We gave it a C+

Unlike most of Woody Allen’s stilted, self-conscious films, Husbands and Wives is hot with actual human pain, the kind that can come only from experience. And you’d be able to tell even if you hadn’t read the papers: This tale of two couples whose marriages founder has the rawness of an exposed wound. That doesn’t sound like much fun, and it isn’t, but at least it’s artistically alive. Plus, Davis’ comic ferocity allows her to create a Woody Allen character that, for once, doesn’t sound like Woody Allen. The only bogus touch is Allen’s dalliance with jerky hand-held-camera movements; nausea-inducing on the big screen, they make the video look like just another TV news story. Unfortunately, it’s old news. C+

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