There’s GOULD in them there Hollywood hills! Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice is easily the swingingest sixties movie I’ve ever seen and for good reason. The plot in and of itself revolves around two nuclear families in the late 60’s as the matriarch and patriarch of each become more and more sexually liberated.
The film stars Natalie Wood, Robert Culp, Dyan Cannon and the legend himself mister Elliot Gould. The film is also a beautiful time capsule of 1969 especially,very much reflecting the colorful and weird nature of the year. Such a stylistic portrayal that I haven’t seen since the James Bond film, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. However in comparison I feel that Bob and Carroll and Ted and Alice showcases this in a much more intimate (in more ways then one) and lived in world.
Going into the movie’s intro, I must confess that I was building it up to myself as potentially more of an erotic drama way more then it actually became. This further leads me to rejoice in the gift to cinema that is Elliot Gould as his flatter “matter of fact” and guy in an awkward place character had me laughing my ass off. Great examples of the Gift of Gould are him trying to manage a drive thru order while his wife has a meltdown and him trying in vain to fight his horniness while his wife is angrily dealing with Coulp’s infidelity to his wife Natalie Wood. That’s not to say that the rest of the cast was any less of a very well acted and charismatic ensemble (especially with a certain scene involving Coup and Natalie Wood’s bedroom that I don’t want to spoil).
I also love that in a world of shallower sex comedies that BCTA kept a real feeling of as I said love where you can more understand the characters as individuals rather then types. Also, it having an amazing late 60’s yet timelessly funky and…..groovy soundtrack from the legend himself: Quincy Mother FCCing Jones which is always a win. Finally, watching the film I very much fell in love with the time and space of it as it’s EASILY one of the cinematic worlds I’d most want to live in.
Post script: I’ve also very much fell in love with the Paramount theater all over again . Especiall ywith this double bill of BCAT and Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid as they both felt so different yet similar in regards to one being pretty violent and the other being pretty damn kinky. Although they both had very well written, charismatic characters that very much draw one into their world. I simply can’t sell the exceptional experience of going to an old fashioned theater like Paramount enough and want to give them a lot of praise.
Finally, if you’re looking for a damn good modern kinky rebellious comedy to double feature BCTA with then I highly recommend The Overnight. Jason Schwatzman, Judith Goderich, Adam Scott and Taylor Schilling star in it as a swinging Cali couple uniting with a more conservative Seattle couple for a night of kinky fun and humor.