On October 19, 1973 “The Way We Were” was first released in theaters. (Cue: “Memories”.)
The romance sees Robert Redford and Barbara Streisand as star-crossed lovers, pulled away from each other due to the usually deal breakers — political convictions, naval service (and, I guess, curly hair?). In the 39 years since its initial bow, even a mention of its title still elicits a wistful “ugh” and a heart-clutch.
But that reaction is practically tepid compared to that of my mother’s. When Babs was pushing away Hubbell’s golden locks, she was 17-years-old and it has remained her favorite tear-jerker ever since.
Whenever I would remind her that, no, I have not seen “The Way We Were,” she would become wild-eyed and throw up here hands. “Oh, my god!” she’d shriek. “We have to see it. We absolutely must. You will love it. Love.” (There aren’t enough italics in the world to convey her enthusiasm.) It was like that scene from “Sex and the City.” All the time.
So, suffice it to say, we never watched the film together. Until now. Yes, it’s another installment of my sob-blog! But for this particular rite of passage, my mother will be here, crying to my left. Destiny, here I come.
Like mother, like daughter.
My mom’s nearly-hyperventilating.
Why he is a totally estranged father?
Final hair push. Embrace. I am dying.
“You never give up, do you?” Crying.
She sees him! Outside the plaza! Her hair is c-c-curly!
And now we’re back in New York.
Who breaks up during a pregnancy?
“Will you do me one favor, Hubbell? Will you stay with me ’til the baby is born?” WOW. Bleak.
“Wouldn’t it be lovely if we were old? We’d have survived all this. Everything thing would be easy and uncomplicated; the way it was when we were young.” “Katie, it was never uncomplicated.”
“What’s wrong with us has nothing to do with another girl.”
Hubbelllllllllllllllllllllll, you cheater.
“Are you still a nice gentile boy?” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said that.
“I’m getting rid of some things in my apartment. For bon voyage.” VIXEN.
The beautiful, simple girl has emerged. Be strong, Hubbell. Be strong.
Hubbell and Babs are fighting. Again. About politics. Can’t these two crazy kids just get along?!
Hubbell’s in a fight! Somebody struck his beautiful face!!
“Katie…” He watching the projection with a smile on his face. “She’s beautiful.”
They’re walking on the beach and wearing so much beige knit. I’m in heaven.
“…tells her gorgeous goyishe guy…” “- Good alliteration.” “…That she’s pregnant, you see. And… he just looks at her and…”
She’s dressed as Harpo Marx — pretty adorable Halloween costume.
Now they live together. And she’s putting away their books. And he came over and just picked her up and laid her down on the couch. This is love. First tears have been shed.
Now, they’re back together. And on a boat.
“You’ll never find anyone as good for you as I am, to believe in you as much as I do or love you as much!” “I know that.” “Well then, why?!” HEART-CLENCH.
“It’s because I’m not attractive enough, isn’t it? I’m not fishing. I know I’m attractive…sort of.” This is every awkward duckling’s movie.
He came over with sleeping pills. That’s nice?
Mom, motioning to computer: “You gotta see it again without any of this.”
“Your the best friend I’ve ever had.” She’s crying. And pleading with him to come over. “I promise I won’t touch you.” Wince.