Just Between Friends

1986

Drama

0
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 33%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 53%
IMDb Rating 5.9 10 919

Plot summary


Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Director

Top cast

Ted Danson as Chip Davis
Christine Lahti as Sandy Dunlap
Mary Tyler Moore as Holly Davis
Mark Blum as George Margolin

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by HotToastyRag 8 / 10

Great, interesting story

I remember watching a movie starring Mary Tyler Moore with my mom; I turned to her and said, "She's the lady from Ordinary People, right?" My mom cracked up and told me that was like someone saying, "Jane Fonda's the lady who does exercise videos, right?" As embarrassing as it is to admit, I've never seen Mary Tyler Moore's television work, so I only know her as a dramatic actress.

In Just Between Friends, two women become friends during an exercise class. They get along so well that Mary invites Christine Lahti over to her house for a small dinner party and to meet her family. Mary introduces her two children and husband, Ted Danson, but there's a problem. Ted and Christine already know each other. They've been having an affair! The dinner party scene when the two lovers are "introduced" is absolutely hilarious.

As Ted tries to reconcile his feelings for both women, with his best friend Sam Waterston giving advice, Christine has to handle her guilt now that she's been exposed to Ted's happy home. Does she break things off? Does she tell Mary what's going on? Watch this fantastic film and find out that some issues are best handled just between friends.

Writer-director Allan Burns created three-dimensional characters and a very fascinating, emotional plot. The story will really make you think, and the acting is fantastic. Watch the preview to see if you'd like it, but if we share similar taste, I'm sure you will.

Reviewed by jjnxn-1 7 / 10

Christine Lahti walks away with the picture

Situational drama from MTM scribe Allan Burns in his only feature film. Seemingly conceived as a vehicle for Mary Tyler Moore it doesn't really reach that potential due to some fundamental errors in casting.

That's not to say that the casting of the other roles is bad, it's not but the problem is that Mary, while fine in her part, is about a decade too old for her character. Not to be ageist but from references made by Mary and Ted Danson's couple it's understood that they are supposed to be the same age and they are clearly not. It's a distraction that continues even after Danson is out of the film.

All that aside the film is entertaining, if not terribly inventive, thanks to the solid work of the cast. Beside Mary and Danson Sam Waterson is endearingly nervous and a bit twitchy as Ted's best friend. But the performer who strolls right in and takes control of the movie and walks away with it is the infinitely talented Christine Lahti. Both tough and vulnerable she cuts through any potential sugary elements the film risks falling into, and there are several opportunities along the way.

Overall a film that at times bears too close a resemblance to a TV movie of the week but is made worth catching by the strong performers.

Reviewed by moonspinner55 3 / 10

Superficial comedic soaper...

Writer-director Allan Burns seems to have patched together two different scripts about sisterhood and infidelity/betrayal. Christine Lahti plays a crass, cynical TV news reporter who makes friends with aerobics instructor Mary Tyler Moore; soon, she's having dinner with her new friend's family, only to discover Moore's husband is Lahti's married lover. Burns has a strange, stop-and-start rhythm to his dialogue which is neither realistic nor effective (just increasingly annoying, because nothing important seems to get said). Rail-thin Mary, looking alarmingly frail in her leotard, has a radiant smile but doesn't convince as Ted Danson's wife (and he's stuck with a paltry, thankless role, merely present as the cad). The movie attempts to cover all its bases in a classic case of overreaching (a woman's role in the workplace, the TV news-biz, the cheating family man, the working wife and mother who wants more, a woman's need for female friendships, et al), but nothing substantial comes of these ideas since Burns only half-heartedly examines the issues. As a writer, Burns is surprisingly free of punchlines; however, his script is uncertain of its purpose, and the heavy plotting just gets all fouled up. *1/2 from ****

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