Enormous Changes At the Last Minute (1985)

Enormous Changes At the Last Minute (1985)

“I drive a cab when things are slow for the band. Besides, it helps me keep tabs on the bourgeoisie.”

Three overlapping vignettes, adapted from short stories by Grace Paley, tell of motherhood, love, and disappointment in New York City.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Episodic Films
  • Feminism and Women’s Issues
  • May-December Romance
  • New York City
  • Single Mothers

Response to Peary’s Review:
While one must ultimately read Grace Paley’s writing to get a true sense of her brilliance, this “often humorous, often touching, always authentic” movie — based on three selections from Paley’s Collected Stories — stands just fine on its own. As Peary notes, the film’s female protagonists “aren’t heroic figures”, but they nonetheless “withstand the constant demands by manipulative men [or] parents” in their lives, and “hold out until they can make rational decisions about their own futures.” The first and third segments — starring Ellen Barkin and Kevin Bacon respectively — are the best, and well worth watching; unfortunately, as Peary notes, the second segment is “uninvolving and horribly directed”.

Redeeming Qualities:

  • Ellen Barkin in a sexy, early role
  • Kevin Bacon as a sincere young cab driver in love with an older woman

Must See?
No, but it’s a good little movie worth seeking out. Just fast forward through the second segment and you’ll be glad you rented this one.


One thought on “Enormous Changes At the Last Minute (1985)

  1. First viewing. Not must-see.

    A now-somewhat lost / forgotten independent film of three slow-moving character studies.

    Though the female leads in the first two stories are understandably frustrated, they’re also strident and not all that sympathetic. The second story is too short to be all that involving.

    As for the third episode, aside from the couple’s sexual attraction, why they’re together is baffling; their progression also makes little sense. Bacon’s ‘passion’ as a songwriter is silly at best. Once Tucci becomes pregnant, the argument over ownership of the baby comes off as laughable.

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