Uncle Bardie’s Movie of the Week: A May-December Affair

Once a week on Monday, Uncle Bardie shares a movie with his Readers he gives a big two thumbs up. It will simply be a short excerpt or a trailer. Uncle Bardie might even throw in a reflection on the movie. If so, it will make an appearance below the video. So pop some popcorn and give yourself a treat. This week’s movie is “Murphy’s Romance” (1985);

It’s Thanksgiving week and I have a lot to be thankful for. So I thought I would give a big thumbs up to a movie the whole fam can watch and not be embarrassed. On a likability scale of one to five, I give “Murphy’s Romance” a six. Maybe it’s because it has the very likable Sally Field and the even more likable James Garner in the main character roles. Director Martin Ritt and Screenwriters Harriet Frank and Irving Ravetch have taken the cliche-ridden May-December romance and turned it into something special.

Emma (Sally Field) is a divorcee who comes to a small Arizona town, ready to start a new life with her teenage son. There she starts running into Murphy (James Garner), who seems to be everywhere and know everybody. He lost his wife several years before. Neither are looking for a new relationship.

About the time Emma and Murphy are becoming interested in each other, Emma’s ex, Bobby Jack, shows up, wanting to get back together with Emma. She’s barely able to resist his charm. And charm he has. He is the kind of guy who can charm the pants off a woman, break her heart, then run off with her money. Brian Kerwin plays him to the hilt.

Even though Emma’s trying to get rid of him, he just won’t go away. Part of the reason is that Bobby Jack is her son’s father and he charms his son as well.

Martin Ritt takes his time and lets the viewer get to know the characters and the town. He isn’t rushing the story just to get a sex scene. He is giving us something that is the real thing. A darn enjoyable movie. And it’s likable too.

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