The basic story involves the rocky romance, over a period
of years, between a WASPY writer, Hubbell Gardner (Robert Redford) and
a Jewish, left wing, communist social activist, Katie Morosky (Barbara
Streisand). She is a serious, intense political activist, while he is
bored by politics and is easy going, taking life by the moment. They
first meet in college, and find themselves attracted to each other,
despite the protests of their friends. When they meet a few years later,
their relationship deepens. As the years roll by, they meet intermittently
until a full romance blooms between these two very different thinking
people. After an affair, they get married and have a baby. In the end,
they find that love is not enough to sustain a marriage relationship.
While they love each other, their long-standing relationship is finally
torn apart by their their "diverse political views" and "very
The top notch script, which was a moving character study,
was by Arthur Laurents, adapting his novel, and is a real romantic tear-jerker,
considered by many to be a classic romantic film. This talented writer
has had much commercial success in such writing endeavors, such as "West
Side Story," "The Turning Point," "Bonjour Tristesse,"
and "Anastasia." He is quite a master of intertwining romance,
drama, poignant movements, into a great story dealing with various human
The screenplay takes place during various times in our
history, having the historical backdrop of The Spanish Civil War, The
New Deal, World War 2 and the dreaded McCarthy Era when a witch hunt
for communists took place. Many occurrences in this script were taken
from Arthur Laurents' troubles with McCarthy and his committee.
The wonderful direction was by provided by the great
Sydney Pollack, a prolific director of many classic films. He brings
out the best in the cast and the crew, and is a master in directing
this genre of film.
Streisand and Redford, despite being oil and water types, have great
screen chemistry. You really feel for these characters. Streisand tried
for years to convince Redford to appear in a sequel, with no success.
"The Way We Were" is a great date movie because
it's funny, moving, and VERY romantic. Some say that it is a screaming
chick flick, but anyone who likes romantic movies will love it. Sure,
it has a sad ending, but the two of you can cheer yourselves up after
the flick, so what the hey.
My favorite scene takes place in bed between Redford
and Streisand. Redford falls asleep before the main event. Streisand
gets a great expression on her face: she's obviously thrilled to be
in bed with this beautiful man, yet frustrated that he's drifted off
The film unfolds between the late 1930s, and early 1950s.
Much effort was taken with the period settings, convincingly recreating
the by-gone period.
The acting by all involved is first rate, not only by
Streisand and Redford, but also a strong supporting cast.
The film won two Oscars, for Marvin Hamlisch's musical
score and title song, (lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman), sung emotionally
by La Streisand. The music pulls at your heart strings, and is shamelessly,
but entertainingly, sentimental.