Taking Off: Forman’s American Debut B+
Acclaimed Czech filmmaker Milos Forman (“Loves of a Blonde”) mad his American screen debut with “Taking Off, a bittersweet satire of a typically American bourgeois family.
Linnea Heacock plays Jeannie Tyne, a runaway teenager who wanders aimlessly around New York, while her suburban parents, Lynn (Lynn Carlin) and Larry (Buck Henry), desperately search for her.
Larry and his best friend Tony (Tony Harvey) begin a search, but their expedition is sidetracked by drinking at a local bar.
Meanwhile, Lynn and Tony’s wife, Margot (Georgia Engel), discuss their sex lives in detail. When Jeannie returns home, she is interrogated by her parents about drugs and other alleged misconduct.
After Lynn and Larry join a support group for the parents of runaway children, they themselves turn around and get stoned on marijuana themselves during one of the group meetings. This leads to an unexpected lapse into a randy game of strip poker.
Co-penned by Jean Claude Carriere and Forman, this sharply observed satire displays late 1960s lifestyles and sensibilities. “Taking Off” also showcases the talents of a group of New York performers, who became famous, including Paul Benedict, Vincent Schiavelli, Allen Garfield, Audra Lindley, the singer Carly Simon, who performs “Long Time Physical Effects,” and Kathy Bates (billed as Bobo Bates), who performs “Even the Horses Had Wings.”
Forman would establish himself as a major American player with his second U.S. movie, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” which swept all the major Oscars.
Running time: 92 Minutes.
Directed By:Milos Forman
Written By:Jean-Claude Carriere, Milos Forman
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