Diary of a Mad Housewife (1970)

Diary of a Mad Housewife (1970)

Released: 1970
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Genre
Director: Frank Perry
Starring: Carrie Snodgress, Frank Langella, Richard Benjamin, ,
Run time: 95 min
IMDb: 7/10
Country: USA
Views: 29401


Tina Balser is a bored New York housewife-mother married to Jonathan, a pompous, social-climbing lawyer who ridicules her in front of their children, criticizing everything she does or wears. She begins an affair with George Prager, a dashing, successful and blatantly sadistic writer. Finally after George has tormented Tina in much the same manner Jonathan has, and has been unfaithful to boot, she goes back to her husband and begins group therapy.
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User Reviews: Carrie Snodgress is wistful, sad, conflicted, fed-up and funny playing harried NYC housewife on the verge of collapse; Richard Benjamin is her anal-retentive husband; and Frank Langella is her uncommitted lover. From Sue Kaufman’s book, one of the funniest satiric novels of its era, comes this sometimes-surreal jumble by Frank Perry, who is so concerned with making a monster out of Benjamin’s Jonathan that he in turn makes Snodgress’ Tina look a little pathetic. The character was feistier in the book, with a (self-contained) deadpan sense of humor that Perry isn’t quite able to replicate on film. This Tina has her moments–throwing her ruined Thanksgiving platter against the wall, berating Jonathan for making fun of her in front of the kids–and Snodgress is terrific, really the only reason to see the film. She overcomes the knockabout structure and obvious swipes at indifferent urbanites and makes something touching out of the material. I first saw this on television and admired a couple of scenes with Snodgress and her headstrong daughters (a beauty involved smacking her kid when she deserved it, and then going to apologize). I later rented the video and found a number of those scenes missing. Turns out they had been added to the network version to pad the picture’s length from other cuts–mostly sexual ones involving Langella. This is a first: I liked the discards much better than what ended up in the actual movie. **1/2 from ****

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