Blume in Love (1973)

Blume in Love (1973)

“Who was I kidding? Being with one woman and constantly thinking of another was using.”

After cheating on his wife (Susan Anspach), a divorce lawyer (George Segal) realizes what a huge mistake he’s made and tries everything to win her back, including befriending her new lover (Kris Kristofferson).

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Divorce
  • Flashback Films
  • George Segal Films
  • Infidelity
  • Kris Kristofferson Films
  • Love Triangle
  • Marital Problems
  • Marsha Mason Films
  • Obsessive Love
  • Paul Mazursky Films
  • Shelley Winters Films
  • Winning Him or Her Back

Writer-director Paul Mazursky’s third feature — after Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969) and Alex in Wonderland (1970), and just before Harry and Tonto (1974) — was this non-linear flashback film about a man who only realizes what he’s lost once he’s blown it. It’s hard to sympathize with Segal’s Stephen Blume given his egregious behavior (i.e., cheating with his secretary) near the beginning of the movie:

… though it’s refreshing to see Anspach so instantly resolute about leaving him, and staying in control of her own life from then on. Indeed, the film’s entire focus is on Blume eating crow, which holds a certain type of morbid fascination for anyone who’s ever been deceived. Could this movie be considered a lengthy paean to the strength and tenacity of survivors?

Perhaps so — at least until a crucial sequence later in the film when our sensibilities are once again shattered, and we wonder how (or if) we can forgive the perpetrator in question. The culminating sequence (echoing the opening honeymoon flashback) is an impossibly romantic elegy, set in a Roman plaza while “Tristan and Isolde” is being performed, which gives a hint about Mazursky’s frame of mind with this entire story: he is looking for toeholds in the messiness of life and love.

The lead actors are both excellent, as are supporting players Kristofferson (playing laid-back Elmo):

… Marsha Mason as Segal’s understanding new lover:

… and Shelley Winters as one of Blume’s distraught clients.

Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments:

  • George Segal as Stephen Blume
  • Susan Anspach as Nina
  • Bruce Surtees’ cinematography

Must See?
No, but it’s worth a look. Listed as a Cult Movie and a Personal Recommendation in the back of Peary’s book.


One thought on “Blume in Love (1973)

  1. First viewing (1/30/22). Skip it.

    Yet another boring Mazursky movie, full of mundane dialogue. Just embarrassingly bad. End of story.

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