Picks and Pans Review: Old Boyfriends

updated 04/30/1979 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/30/1979 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Joan Tewkesbury established her name by writing such Altman movies as Nashville and Thieves like Us, but this, her first effort as a director, is disappointing. Talia Shire, cast in a string of tough roles since Rocky, plays an emotionally disturbed L.A. woman who seeks out old lovers in hopes of understanding her past. One is Richard (Captains and the Kings) Jordan, whom she discovers making movies and living alone with his child (played by his real-life daughter, Nina). Another is John Belushi, making his dramatic debut (raunchy as ever, but effective) as a lascivious bandleader in pursuit of Talia again. When she finds out her first love was killed in Vietnam, she decides to take up with his younger brother, Keith Carradine. Tewkesbury has absorbed much of Altman's ability to capture spontaneity, but none of his genius for telling a good story. The result is a baffling movie that leaves the heroine—and the audience—searching vainly for a reason to stay with it. (R)

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