Synopsis by Mark Deming
Irvin Kershner directed this comedy-drama about one man's struggle with relationships and himself. Brooks (George Segal) is a middle-aged commercial artist who is at a personal and professional crossroads; he wants to take a stab at a career in fine art, but he can barely land enough assignments to support himself as it is. And while his marriage to Selma (Eva Marie Saint) is starting to collapse, his mistress Grace (Janis Young) suggests that she would like a relationship of greater permanence with him. Hoping to land an important commission from Lepridon (Sterling Hayden), a powerful business mogul, Brooks attends a party at an exclusive private club, but after a few cocktails too many, Brooks gets into a screaming match with one of the club's leaders. Brooks is depressed, figuring that he's blown what could have been a major career opportunity, when word travels through the grapevine that Lepridon was amused and impressed by Brooks' dressing-down of the club's topkick and is ready to give him the job. Brooks is elated, but he wants to keep his good news a secret for the time being; in a celebratory mood, he goes to a party where Selma, Grace, and a number of his friends are also in attendance. Brooks is approached by Nelly (Nancy Phillips), the wife of his neighbor Will (David F. Doyle); Nelly wants Brooks to join her for a quickie, and he eagerly agrees, not realizing that the children's playroom where they've chosen to meet is monitored by a closed-circuit TV camera, with the other party-goers an audience for their lovemaking. Loving garnered many enthusiastic reviews and became something of a cult item among film buffs in the 1970s; Sherry Lansing, who would later become a powerful producer and studio president, appears in a small role as Susan.
artist, extramarital-affair, mistress, neighbor, party