In Praise of Older Women (1978)

In Praise of Older Women (1978)

“All the girls I know are absolutely weird… They don’t want to make love with me. I’ve tried everything! I guess I just don’t understand women.”

A Hungarian philosophy student (Tom Berenger) enlists the help of his married neighbor (Karen Black) in losing his virginity, then continues to pursue a string of “older women”, including a revolutionary (Susan Strasberg), a repressed divorcee (Alexandra Stewart), and a married faculty wife (Helen Shaver).

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Canadian Films
  • Coming-of-Age
  • May-December Romance
  • Susan Strasberg Films

This tedious coming-of-age sex romp — starring a young, buff Tom Berenger — was notorious at the time of its release for showing a fair amount of nudity and simulated sex; the story itself, however, leaves much to be desired. Starting in post-war Hungary (where everyone apparently spoke American English, without an accent), the film follows the travails of horny Andras (Berenger):

… who discovers that older women — rather than virginal co-eds — are the ticket to sexual bliss; it’s a mildly intriguing premise, but one which never develops into anything more complex. Andras’s first (mutual) “conquest”, Karen Black, is by far the most interesting female character in the film:

… but after Andras cruelly cheats on her, she’s out of the picture. The central problem is that Andras simply isn’t a very likable character — he’s a player, and not ashamed to admit it, but why should we care about him or his life?

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Karen Black as Andras’ first “older lover”

Must See?
No; skip this one.


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