“Friends” And A Sick Hubby: “Such Good Friends”

The 1971 film Such Good Friends, by Otto Preminger, is like a comic An Unmarried Woman with a sick and dying husband.  The wife of this husband, Julie (Dyan Cannon), firmly and understandably sees her marriage to Richard (Laurence Luckinbill) as a good one.  But then his health starts failing badly before Julie’s obsession with his welfare is supplanted by anguish over the relationship per se.  At first—and at later moments too—the film is a sex comedy, presently turning into a comedy plain and simple: one with pathos.

The script is by Elaine May (using the pseudonym of Esther Dale), adapting a novel by Lois Gould, and there are trenchant, witty lines.  Occasionally, however, the flick is distasteful:  I don’t want to see James Coco in his underwear waiting to be fellated.  Friends, further, can be preposterous. . . Dyan Cannon does not flesh out her character memorably, as do Coco and Ken Howard.  The music, too, sometimes fails to cut it.  I disagree with the internet reviewer who found the film dull, but it is my opinion that, in spite of its several pleasures, Such Good Friends is forgettable.  

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