Guest Post: The Way We Were

The exclamation point after "Streisand and Redford Together!" on the poster puts it out there: THIS MOVIE IS EXCITING. I don't know, because I've never seen it, but the song is not all that exciting. Laura McClain shares the excitement.
[it is the 1940’s]
Barbra Streisand: You’re all fascists! I will shrilly screech about my socialist/anarchist beliefs! Better get used to it, cause I’m screaming at this level throughout the entire movie!
[she GOES to a BAR and SEES a WASTED or possibly just very TIRED Robert Redford]
Barbra Streisand: Whaa? Hubble???
Barbra Streisand: [in SINGING voice-over] Meeeemories…..
[we are TRANSPORTED to their COLLEGE years, where EVERYTHING is idyllic]
Barbra Streisand: Fascists, the lot of you! Mussollini, war in Spain, government, communism, blah, blah, blah….
Robert Redford: Oh, K-K-K-Katie…your liberal, Jewish, politically active, poor-girl identity could never mesh with my fratty, Golden-boy perfection…or COULD it?
[they have SEVERAL scenes in which they kind of FLIRT, but Barbra ruins it by shrilly CALLING him a FASCIST, which he doesn’t really APPRECIATE]
[we are TRANSPORTED back to the PRESENT]
Barbra Streisand: Wanna come home with me? I’m prettier now.
Robert Redford: Blargh, hmph, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….
[they GET it ON, even though he has NO idea who she is]
Barbra Streisand: I made breakfast, and ironed your war uniform, and shined your shoes and made you coffee and knitted you a sweater. The next time you come to town you should stay with me, here are all my various phone numbers, call me call me callmecallmecallme!!!
[Robert Redford is scared SHITLESS, but they SOMEHOW start to DATE]
Robert Redford: Let’s go party with my WASP-y college friends. You remember, the ones you always called fascists?
[they all HATE each other and it FORCES Barbra and Bob apart]
Barbra Streisand: We broke up because I was too easy on you right? I should have screamed at you more. That would have improved things.
[despite her CRIPPLING lack of SELF-AWARENESS, they GET back TOGETHER and MOVE to California]
Robert Redford: Yay, things seem to have calmed down. My wife is pregnant, and seems to be giving up on her nutty political agen-
Barbra Streisand: Have you heard about the blacklist?!?!? I must get involved now!!!
Robert Redford: Shit.
[there is a DRAMATIC scene at a POLITICAL rally, and they DECIDE to break up AGAIN, some MORE, even though their MARRIAGE was TOTALLY fine like, a SCENE ago]
Barbra Streisand: Hey look, it’s our baby.
Robert Redford: Aw, she’s cute. Take care.
[he SERIOUSLY leaves her in the HOSPITAL bed, though she has just BIRTHED his DAUGHTER]
[we are TRANSPORTED to the FUTURE, or MAYBE the WHOLE movie was in VARIOUS forms of FLASHBACK]
Barbra Streisand: Ban the bomb! Blaaagh aaargh YELL!
[she SEES Robert Redford with some CHIPPY]
Robert Redford: Sup, Katie?
Barbra Streisand: Your girl is lovely, Hubble.
[she SMOOTHES the HAIR off his FOREHEAD, to REMIND him of what he LOST]
American Women: Hooray! Now I know when men reject me, that it’s just because I’m too “difficult!”
[Babs sings EXTREMELY loudly, to COVER the SOUNDS of our EMBARRASSING sobs]


Your Ill-fitting Overcoat said...

This is so funny because I was literally talking about this movie yesterday although I have never seen it.

Your Ill-fitting Overcoat said...

I am totally watching this movie AS WE SPEAK. Barbra Streisand's character is so annoying!

Anonymous said...

So after writing this condensation, I was inspired to watch the movie again, but I instead watched the special features. Apparently, they CUT OUT THE CLIMAX of the movie for "flow" purposes. That's why they break up for seemingly no reason at all. There was an amazing scene in which Barbra gets blacklisted and Bob's boss says if he gets a divorce, he won't get fired. So that's why they break up. And I guess literally no one in America even noticed that the break up came out of nowhere. That's really unsurprising, though.

- Laura

Your Ill-fitting Overcoat said...

I was a little confused by that, too, but their relationship had sucked so much since the beginning (and then he cheats on her with his ex-girlfriend, right? that was sort of unclear) and they have that big blow up in DC. the break up definitely seemed a little out of place but it made sense to me because I've been in relationships like that where you have these really good moments (like they did right before they broke up) but it's just not working over all so you break up anyway.