Same Time, Next Year

Watch Same Time, Next Year

  • PG
  • 1978
  • 1 hr 59 min
  • 7.2  (6,616)

Same Time, Next Year is a charming romantic comedy film from 1978, directed by Robert Mulligan, based on the Tony Award-winning play of the same name by Bernard Slade. The film stars Alan Alda as George and Ellen Burstyn as Doris, two strangers who meet at a Californian inn in 1951 and start an affair that lasts for twenty-six years.

The film is set in the post-war era of America, where people were more carefree and less judgmental about relationships. The story begins when George and Doris meet in a seaside inn in Mendocino, California, where they have come to escape their respective spouses and families for a weekend. George is a New Jersey accountant and Doris is a California housewife. They are attracted to each other immediately, and despite the initial awkwardness and discomfort, they end up spending the night together.

As they are both married but not to each other, they decide to meet again the same time, next year at the same inn. Thus begins an annual tradition, where George and Doris would reunite for a few days each year to spend time together, talk, catch up on each other's lives, and make love. While their lives outside this annual affair change – they have children, grandchildren, careers – their connection remains strong enough to keep the tradition alive.

The film captures the political and social changes that happen in tandem with the couple's evolving relationship. Over the course of 26 years, the times are changing fast in America – war, politics, culture, civil rights, and feminism all play a role. Doris and George themselves evolve as well, gaining new perspectives through their own lives and through their conversations with each other. In a time where everything around them is shifting, their annual meeting remains a constant fixed point in their lives.

The film is a showcase for the two leads, Alda and Burstyn, who are a delight to watch. Their characters are flawed, real, and relatable. Alda brings his trademark charm and humor to the film and is believable as a man struggling to balance his family life with his love for Doris. Burstyn, on the other hand, delivers a nuanced performance, showing Doris's vulnerability, strength, and wit. Her portrayal of a woman breaking free from societal norms and expectations is both honest and inspiring.

Amidst the humor and romance, the film deals with several serious issues such as infidelity, commitment, aging, and mortality. The film does not take these issues lightly, but handles them with subtlety and sensitivity. The screenplay is witty and smart, and the dialogues are sharp and quick-witted. The film is shot beautifully, with stunning locations and natural lighting, giving it an intimate and realistic feel.

The film's biggest strength is that it never rushes things. The story is allowed to unfold at its own pace, giving the audience a chance to know and understand the characters. The annual reunions of George and Doris allow us to see how their lives change, and how they change with it. We witness their ups and downs, and the highs and lows of their relationship. There is no manufactured drama or melodrama, just a genuine portrayal of love in all its complexity.

Overall, Same Time, Next Year is a timeless classic that still holds up today. It is a perfect blend of humor, romance, and drama with a smart, thoughtful, and relatable screenplay. The film is a celebration of love, life, and the human spirit, and Alda and Burstyn's performances make it an absolute must-watch.

Same Time, Next Year
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 59 min
  • IMDB Rating
    7.2  (6,616)