Cinema 10: Just Between Friends 4/12 Premieres

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Sean Mota

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Here's a quick review I found at amazon.com


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Sudsy soap opera is saved by the touching performances of the leads, Mary Tyler Moore and Christine Lahti. Produced my Moore's production company MTM, this modern tale reminiscent of best of 1930s and 1940 melodrama actually transcends the gimmicky premise. Implausible as most soaps of this genre, JUST BETWEEN FRIENDS has a feminist edge not often seen in classic Hollywood. These kinds of "dramedies" rely less on writing skill and more on acting chops and manipulative tear dropping. While the performances are top notch, unforunately the sob elements are less effective. Moore, coming off of her ORDINARY PEOPLE Oscar nomination 5 years before plays the role with conviction...rather like her Mary Richards persona thrown into this maudlin predicament. Her foil is wise cracking, but ultimately lonely Christine Lahti, who was fresh from her nomination for SWING SHIFT. Writer/Director Allan Burns (The Mary Tyler Moore Show) attempts to infuse the proceedings with a humor that works some of the time. The tear jerking elements simply did not work for this reviewer. Too little time was spent leading up to the denoument that it comes across more as an afterthought than an entirely effective plot device. Another weight on the proceedings is the awkward and sometimes obtrusive score by Patrick Williams. In 2004 it comes across as terribly dated and a little obnoxious. Several dramatic moments are eclipsed by this overbearing score. Whats odd about JUST BETWEEN FRIENDS is its ability to rise above its faults and become an entertaining little film. Perhaps one could call this a "guilty pleasure". Its not a classic by any means, but at least an interesting time capsule of 1980s feminism and family.

MGM has presented this film in both Widescreen and Full Screen formats on opposite sides of the DVD. MGM presents these with beautiful transfers. Film grain is not a big problem and the color correction comes off a little orange with the skin tones...but overall a nice presentation. The soundtrack comes off beautifully, with dialogue easy to understand and no noticeable distortion. For a mono mix, this actually has some range and depth which was a surprise. The only supplement is the original theatrical trailer...which is actually a delight to watch. For once a trailer that doesn't give everything away!

For the price, this is a great deal. MGM has built quite a reputation for releasing their catalog to DVD. JUST BETWEEN FRIENDS, a minor 1980s film has been given a careful treatment by MGM
 
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Sean Mota

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Master
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Sep 8, 2003
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New York City
Just finished watching this movie. I thought it was good. I like Ted. It looks like his acting has not changed from when he started up to now. PQ transfer I though was very good as well.
 

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