Opening Night

Director: John Cassavetes
Year Released: 1977
Rating: 3.0

Going to give the approval to Cassavetes' 1977 film about acting and the mind of a film and stage performer even though it could be thought of - and therefore dismissed - as A Woman Under the Influence on the Stage. Becomes ridiculous when Gena Rowlands (trying to come to terms with her own aging) literally gets into a knock-down/drag-out battle with a nonexistent young admirer - Fight Club, I thought, worked in this regard because Fincher never intended for the story to be anything more than a giant metaphor and the movie to be anything less than (lunatic) fantasy. I agree with Mr. Ebert that the ending is vague on the particulars, although I still think that the play-within-the-film is meant to mimic Cassavetes' directing style: start off with a story, screenplay and lines, then after all those have been memorized, drop the original materials and begin to experiment with the characters and scenes, making a previously static, dull film more freewheeling and spontaneous.