Joanna is in a touring girl's choir and Mark is a struggling architect. when they first meet on the road in Europe. The film follows their life together --- through courtship and marriage, infidelity and parenthood --- all on the road in a variety of cars through a score of time-shifting vignettes. Written by
1967 was a clearly Audrey Hepburn's final peak as a leading lady. With "Wait Until Dark," and 'Two for the Road," finished, she would quietly divorce Mel Ferrer and sit out her final productive years as a movie star, eventually marrying Andrea Dotti, having another child and semi-retire to her Roman apartment to raise her sons. Eight more years would pass until she finally agreed to do 'Robin and Marian." Well Audrey Hepburn is my all-time favorite movie star. This ethereal beauty with the dark expressive eyes, elegant clotheshorse figure, and unforgettable voice rarely made a mistake in her career. Here's another example of her infallible ability to find the right script. If only Julia Roberts had paid closer attention.
If you're going to draw your career to a close, and I'm not sure she realized this was it, no actress could do better than 'Two for the Road,' and 'Wait Until Dark." Audrey was such a natural screen presence, and with 'Two for the Road,' she had a wonderfully
handsome leading man in Albert Finney (there were strong rumors of a relationship during this film), and completely at ease with a director she had successfully worked with in the past--Stanley Donen.
Frederik Raphael's edgy comedy-drama about a young and successful couple's courtship and marriage was completely in step with the time, and when I re-watched it recently, I was totally drawn into their world. The young and carefree early years had the breezy romance and charm of Hepburn's early romantic comedies. As the story criss-crosses throughout the various years, you can see Finney withdrawing as he doggedly pursues his architecture career. You can see Hepburn's disappointment as she loses her husband to his work and most devastatingly to other women. She is finds the right reaction when he discovers she has finally taken on a lover of her own, and just when it looks like he's ready to forgive her, Finney's character lashes out viciously. Hepburn's look of utter horror at his cruelty is amazing. There's no violence here except emotional devastation and both actors deliver detailed and moving performances.
I like the fact that they seem to stay together, the humor of their early years often in evidence (he's always losing things, and when she finds them, he calls her "bitch" and she replies, "b**tard"). I also like the fact that the script doesn't demonize Finney's character, or the lack of it. Marriage is a two-way street here.
I'm a bit confused as to some of the criticism I read here of this movie. TWO FOR THE ROAD is an adult movie about adult relationships and stars two of the most appealing film stars of their era. It is well directed, and I was never confused about what is going on in any scene. Eleanor Braun and William Daniel's are outstanding as the perfectly awful couple you'd never want to be stuck with in a car trip, especially when their odious little girl comes along ! This, I believe, was Jacqueline Bissett's first film, and you can tell right away, she's got star quality. But this is Audrey and Albert's show all the way.
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