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By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Directed by Alan Rudolph
MGM Home Entertainment 1984 DVD/VHS Feature Film
What has happened to love in the post-sexual revolution? Is it now viewed as a romantic illusion or as manna in the wilderness? The characters in Alan Rudolph's film Choose Me can have sex whenever they want but something is missing in their lives.
Eve (Lesley Ann Warren) owns a singles bar and has had many affairs: "I've ruined so many marriages to have one of my own," she observes. Her on-and-off again relationship with Zach (Patrick Bauchau) troubles his wife Pearl (Rae Dawn Chong), and aspiring poet who says of her husband: "Even though he beats me up, at least he cares enough to do it."
Eve's latest roommate, Ann (Genevieve Bujold), is the very popular Dr. Nancy Love who on her call-in radio program "The Love Line" dispenses advice to the lovelorn. She doesn't tell anyone about the nature of her work. Of course, Ann spends so much time helping others that her own love life is nonexistent.
Mickey (Keith Carradine), a former mental patient with a varied vocational portfolio (handyman, pilot, college professor and spy) is a man who wants to marry anyone he kisses. He makes love to Eve, Pearl and Ann. At last Mickey is forced to make a choice among them.
Choose Me is a beguiling movie that circles around the hurts, dreams and illusions of these lonely individuals. From the opening dreamscape and theme song, "Choose Me (You're My Choice Tonight)" by Teddy Pendergrass to the closing scene, this melodrama tosses out a liberal selection of salty observations on romance, marriage and singleness. All of these characters are likeable but lamentable losers who seem unable to identify or give themselves to mature love grounded in mutual commitment, respect and fulfillment.
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by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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