Psychiatrist Talia Shire goes nutzoid-- she dopes herself up, slams herself into a concrete wall, ditches her husband, then hops into her firebird and hunts down her old boyfriends in a somewhat vague quest for vengeance. First up is Richard Jordan, who actually loved her. Second is John Belushi, who humiliated her in high school. And third is a boy who was killed in Vietnam, though his brother Keith Carradine bears a startling resemblance to him. In the end, though, she learns that life goes on and gets on with it.
"Old Boyfriends" is an underrated little curio. Talia Shire gives what is probably her best non-Adrian performance (and that's a shame, because this movie is nearly lost). The rest of the cast isn't quite so bad itself, particularly Richard Jordan as the one "good boyfriend". John Belushi also shines as Shire's senior-year boyfriend, using a lot of Bill Murray-isms and doing quite well in what is a serious role for him. John Housemann seems a bit hammy during his confrontation with Shire. It almost comes off as if he's trying his best to take down the lead.
Director Joan Tewkesbury does an adequate job, but her work here is nothing special. Though, the set-up of a scene with Shire and Jordan in a bathroom is particularly clever and stylish. At 103 minutes, the film doesn't seem long at all-- it runs fairly smoothly as follow Shire from ex to ex. The only seemingly bad thing about the film is David Shire's (then husband of Talia) score-- it just seems rather limp and unimpressive and meanders about melodically.
Though it may not be for everyone, give "Old Boyfriends" a shot (if you can find it). It's rather undeserving of its much maligned reputation.
When her marriage falls apart, a psychiatrist seeks out those of her former boyfriends who left the biggest impact on her life, mostly in a bad way.
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