I Love My...Wife (1970)

Genres - Comedy Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Marriage Drama  |   Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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I Love My Wife is a 1970 sex comedy with an identity crisis. It wants to be both a lighthearted sex romp and a serious look at the sexual revolution and the things that drive a man to adultery; it ends up as a lame and labored bore in which the laughs are few and far between. Robert Kaufman's script is largely to blame; it starts out fairly promisingly, but soon becomes a superficial mess that can't make up its mind which direction it should go at any time, and so constantly shifts gears without ever getting anywhere. The dialogue is leaden, the jokes are poor, false irony is ladled on to far too many scenes, and its attempts to be hip are embarrassing. Even more problematic, it creates a lead character that is intensely unsympathetic and ultimately irritating, and asks the audience to spend the entire film with him.Elliott Gould does the best that he can with the role, but he unfortunately can't transcend the character's basic unlikable nature. Brenda Vaccaro and Angel Tompkins do considerably better, but they can't save the film -- certainly not with Mel Stuart's desperate and confused direction working against them. I Love My Wife has a few bright moments, especially near the beginning, but overall it's a dull affair.