Alan Arkin’s directorial debut is an adaptation of Jules Feiffer’s play, in which a “devout apathist” (Elliott Gould) meets up with a fiery, passionate young woman (Marcia Rodd) in an increasingly dangerous New York City, and (reluctantly) agrees to get married after a brief courtship. Her family gets involved and all Hell breaks loose! Arkin’s film is actually something of a meditation on the increasing paranoia and psychosis that goes on when one lives in a tight, crowded city like New York, and Feiffer’s script is sometimes dead-on dark comedy, sometimes sharp satire, sometimes off-the-wall, but often very funny. Donald Sutherland steals the show in a hilarious extended cameo as the preacher who finally weds the couple, and Arkin himself appears late in the film as a befuddled detective losing his grip on everything. A small gem.

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