“Your life is really full of crap, isn’t it?”
A housewife (Carrie Snodgress) married to a demeaning and demanding husband (Richard Benjamin) rebels by having an affair with a self-absorbed writer (Frank Langella).
Frank and Eleanor Perry’s adaptation of Sue Kaufman’s novel is a delightfully acerbic glimpse at gender roles in the early 1970s. Keeping in mind the film’s title (the story is distinctly told from Snodgress’s point of view), it’s easy to accept the humorously over-the-top depictions of both Benjamin and Langella as true male chauvinists — this is how she perceives them. Snodgress (in her first leading role, she was nominated for an Oscar) is marvelous as Tina, the titular housewife — she manages to make us believe not only that Tina would put up with Benjamin’s abuse, but that she would rebel with a man who treats her just as badly. Through incisive editing, we’re shown Tina choosing to visit Langella each time things get too awful at home — it’s her version of a safe haven. The clever ending — which puts the entire story in a slightly different light — is especially well-conceived.
P.S. Click here to read a 1970 interview with Frank and Eleanor Perry re: DOAMH (and their other collaborative works).
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Carrie Snodgress’s wonderful performance as Tina
- Richard Benjamin as Tina’s hideously self-righteous husband
- Frank Langella as Tina’s equally insufferable lover, George
- A witty look at oppression and liberation in the early days of women’s lib
Yes, for Snodgress’s Oscar-nominated performance. Listed as a Cult Movie in the back of Peary’s book.