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Article

Personal Best

Posted on

Everett Collection

Personal Best

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
R
performer:
Patrice Donnelly, Mariel Hemingway, Scott Glenn
director:
Robert Towne
author:
Robert Towne
genre:
Drama, Sports

We gave it a B

For his directorial debut, Chinatown scribe Robert Towne chose to chronicle the sapphic relationship of two Olympic track-and-field hopefuls. The result was Personal Best, a boldly languorous film about competition — one that yielded dismal box office and years of leering ”personal best” punchlines. Yet patient character studies (and impressive first-time acting by athletes) redeem the boilerplate training-for-a-big-race plot. EXTRAS On a commentary, Towne praises the film’s verisimilitude but glosses over the drama (affairs, lawsuits) that reportedly swirled behind the scenes. B