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The Four Seasons
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Product Description

Three middle-aged wealthy couples take vacations together in spring summer autumn and winter. Along the way we are treated to mid-life marital parental and other crises. Studio: Uni Dist Corp. (mca) Release Date: 05/31/2005 Starring: Carol Burnett Sandy Dennis Run time: 107 minutes Rating: Pg Director: Alan Alda

Actually, this comedy is one of the more enjoyable films to examine midlife crisis in the 1980s. Written and directed by Alan Alda, it examines the effects of middle age on a group of married couples who are longtime friends. Each season they go away on a vacation together, but the dynamic gets skewed when one of the men dumps his wife for a younger woman. Though some may find the characters' self-satisfaction and upscale neuroses a shade cloying, they are more than matched by Alda's solid, often funny writing. The couple with the biggest laughs: the hilariously paired Jack Weston and Rita Moreno (although Alda and Carol Burnett also strike comic sparks). --Marshall Fine

Customer Reviews:

  • Best mid-life crisis movie ever
    It's like something our friends would do - go someplace together every few months, then fight and backbite and love and hate each other. That's what friends are for. Not for the faint of heart - you may see your friends (or your spouse) in this movie....more info
  • Four Seasons equals 4 stars!
    This well written and well directed movie by Alan Alda is one not to miss.
    The story centers around three middle aged professional couples who share their vacations together during each season. When one of the couple's marriage ends in divorce as the result of a mid-life crisis, the other two couples begin to doubt their security and stability in their own marriages. This all star cast comes across realistically and relatively new actress, Bess Armstrong, pulls her own weight(among some well seasoned actors) and comes across as sensitive and caring instead of just another pretty face. My only criticism is that some scenes seem to drag on as Alan Alda's character tries to "analayze" everything from sailboats to bruised knees. Besides that the acting is great and the music in the background is wonderful. Again a movie not to miss!...more info
  • Release The DVD Already!!!!!!
    I saw this movie as a young child, I have loved it ever since. I just do not understand why it is not on DVD yet. It is one of the best as far as I am concerned, and Alan Alda is amazing. Please Release it ASAP!!...more info
  • Alan Alda's: Why Did I Get Married?
    Ha, so I think you should be able to draw from my review title that I can easily compare this film to `Tyler Perry's: Why Did I Get Married?' and honestly, I feel very similar about the two films. If you've read my review for the other one (it stirred much heated debate and actually garnered me some hate mail) you'd know that I was not a huge fan. While I admitted to liking the film I also stated that I felt it had a lot of issues (not the least of which was Janet Jackson). I feel the same here. In parts I like this movie, but as a whole I don't think it works quite like everyone else seems to say it does.

    I think most of you are delusional, but whatever.

    The film tells of three couples who have been friends for many years and who take vacations together every season. The film takes place over the course of four seasons (or a year for those of you not mathematically inclined) and it shows the strain the friendships come over thanks to getting older. Nick expresses his desire to leave his wife Anne during the first season, and that sets off a chain reaction as the couples now have to get used to his newer, younger woman. Jack and Kate seem the most stable of the other two couples, while Claudia and Danny are apparently not as happy as they once were; both needing a spark to ignite their love for one another.

    Like I said; in parts this is good.

    When looking over this season for season I have come to terms with what works and what doesn't. For instance; the overall plot of six friends shifting in their relationship over the course of the year works, but the way that Alda develops his characters does not. This is a major problem because it takes away from the genuineness of the film and it makes it hard to relate to the characters. I understand that people have flaws, so please; I don't want anymore comments about how I don't understand that no one is perfect or whatever. There is a difference between flaws and what we have going on here (and in Perry's mess as well). These characters are so unlikable and annoying you can't help but despise them.

    I would never be friends with anyone in this movie; and I find it very hard to believe that they would remain friends.

    The first season is probably the worst of all. So, I guess it sufficed to say this movie gets off to a rocky start. The reason for this is Alda. He has the most annoying character in the film (I label him the Janet Jackson of this episode) for he is always trying to `preach' to everyone else. Listen, I am all for sharing feelings and really bonding or whatever. I am one of the most emotionally connected men you will ever meet and I pride myself in my ability to truly connect with my friends, on a deeper more meaningful level. This guy is way too much though. His toasts are ridiculous and they feel so forced that you can't take him seriously. Later in the film, in the fourth season, he tells the group he wants to `get to the heart of things' and I became so frustrated with him I wanted to scream.


    Anyways, the second season is far better. It is probably the better season for it establishes Nick's new love interest and it gives us an idea of how everyone else feels about it. Jack (Alda) also keeps his mouth shut with the whole `lets analyze our feelings' bit and so we have a chance to just enjoy the underlying emotions stewing in the pot (or on the boat if you will).

    The third season is the most important (especially when in regards to Nick and his ex-wife Anne). It is also the season that makes the least sense. There are a few things that happen over the course of this autumn vacation that raise questions. First is the relationship between the women. I don't know about you, but from my observation of women, they seem to be much more emotionally connected than men, and they stand up and stick by their friends much more than men do. So, the very fact that Kate and Claudia have fallen out of touch with Anne to the point where she feels neglected makes no sense to me. In all honesty, if this had been real life you can place money on the fact that Anne would be the one vacationing with the group, and not Nick. I felt that Perry's film handled that aspect of things a little better (there is no way those women would be so civil with Nick so soon after the divorce); in fact I even feel that the way Kelly and Deacon's split on `The King of Queens' was handled more realistically than this was (I can't believe I just did that). The next issue is the strange feud between Jack and Kate, which made little sense to me. Maybe it wasn't supposed to make sense. Maybe it was just to show that women at times can be crazy (no offence) but I just scratched my head thinking `really; all this over a football tackle?'

    The fourth and final season is a mixed bag. They are skiing; they are having fun; Jack is back to his `analyzing' again and it is borderline excruciating; especially when they get out to dinner and Danny gets in on it. That's the bad, but the final confrontation involving the group and Ginny (Nick's new wife) is actually really effective. I was moved, slightly, and felt that it was the one note Alda hit perfectly.

    So it starts on a sour note, yet ends on a good one.

    The acting and character development is as poor as Perry's, maybe worse here. I hated Jackson's character as much as Alda's, maybe more so; but Alda truly was repulsive here. Carol Burnett was effective for the most part; but her character Kate was the emptiest of them all. Danny's character was as bad as Alda; truly obnoxious; so much so that believing these guys would want to be friends with him is beyond me. The first time he tallied up what I owed him for dinner would have been the last time we spoke; seriously. Claudia, like Kate, feels empty. She has a brief moment during the second season where I felt that she was going to really shine, but it was short lived. In fact, the most likable and engaging of the characters are the two (especially the one) you are supposed to feel distant towards; Nick and Ginny. Len Cariou plays his character very well and it's understandable why he's liked. He's fun, outgoing, interesting and he never feels fake. He is who he is, and he wants to be happy. Ginny wants to fit in, although that is hard for her. I also felt that Sandy Dennis, who plays Nick's ex Anne, was superb in her few scenes. Her final scene with the girls is stellar on all accounts.

    So, in the end I feel torn here. Overall the film is not that good, but in parts it works well. It had a great concept but its execution was less than effective. I want this movie to be made right, because I think that if done so it could be brilliant. Alan Alda, like Tyler Perry, is too concerned with preaching to the rest of us than he is with developing realistic and intriguing characters. This needs a director and screenwriter who is willing to take a backseat to the stories development; preferably someone who is not insistent in staring in the film.

    Oh well, this is just my opinion....more info
  • excellent can't wait
    I saw this movie years ago it was really great . I have
    been dying for it to come out on dvd. My vhs tape is so
    old its almost at the point its going to break.
    great characters and great acting by all the cast.
    wonderful film !!!!!!!!!!!!!!...more info


  • Great Movie
    The Four Seasons is a great movie. It is funny, has great music, beautiful locations ranging from the Virgin Islands, to a ski resort and wonderful performances by the entire cast.

    After watching this movie, you'll start taking stock of your friends and the last few trips you went on with your friends.

    Great for a Saturday night at home with the family.

    Little kids, probably won't enjoy this....more info
  • good movie, okay transfer from film to DVD
    Overall a highly entertaining movie. The growth and maturing of friendships which translates into individual growth. The quality of the transfer from film to video is okay. It could have been better. A good film for couples. ...more info
  • Not Again?!!
    Thank you to Milo Janus from LA for the excellent review!

    As was apparently the case with Sweet Liberty, so too is the case with this ALAN ALDA classic - released only in pan/scan - which, IMO, it might as well not be release at all on DVD. I will not and do not purchase any film on DVD that has been altered (i.e., parts of the film cut out of the DVD release) even when it is just parts of the sides of the picture cut to fit it onto the eventually-to-become-obsolete 3x4 TV screens.

    If I want to see it in pan/scan, I'll just replay my old VHS copy!...more info
  • This is a Classic.
    This movie is a classic. It has it all. Good actors, funny.
    I could not tell you the number of times we have watched this movie. When we don't know what to watch we go back to this. I can not understand with all the trash that is out on DVD why this movie had not been put on DVD. Alan Alda and Carol Burnett alone should make this a must have on DVD. ...more info
  • Really Fun
    I liked this film a great deal. three couples meet for vacation during each season of the year. Each one is totally different. Alan Alda is the intellectual that thinks too much. Jack Weston is the cheap dentist that fights with his wife (Rita Moreno) all the time while she keeps saying that she can't help it because "I'm Italian." The other couple is kind of sexually adventurous and the wife is a big flirt, especially with Alan Alda.

    The couples go through all the ups and downs that real friends do, from big fights to real touching moments....more info

  • Waiting anxiously for the DVD
    I just received an email notification that this film is due on on DVD on May 31, 2005....more info
  • The Four Seasons
    I just had to have this movie. It is the best I have ever seen. Friends are for ever....more info
  • Real Life, Love and Vivaldi, too!!!!
    Alan Alda (best known as the wisecracking Hawkeye from the long-running TV series M*A*S*H*) wrote and directed this brilliant film which, for me, is the perfect homage to the successful marriage.

    The story centers around the close friendships of three middle-aged couples who always take their vacations together. A huge problem arises when one of the husbands (played with gusto by Len Cariou) abruptly sheds his longtime, devoted and quirky wife (played by the brilliantly gifted late actress Sandy Dennis) for a much younger and pretty woman (portrayed by Bess Armstrong.) Dennis suddenly becomes the odd-woman out of the group while Armstrong takes her place in the traditional group vacation.

    Everyone feels the effects of the switch, and their reactions and adjustments (or lack thereof) to the situation create the movie's tension and raise universal questions about love, commitment, marriage, honesty and aging.

    Alda's wife in the film, played by the legendary Carol Burnett, struggles to make sense out of what happened, and worries that all aging women (including her) may be cast aside without remorse by their husbands stuggling with the mid-life blues who want younger, sexier partners. In one revealing portion of the story, Alda joins in a soccer game "with the boys" and plays to the point of exhaustion and even injury to impress Armstrong. Burnett withholds her sympathy for her wounded mate and is furious instead, forcing him to realize what he was doing through witty, poignant and hysterical dialog.

    Multi-talented Rita Moreno and Jack Weston are the third couple also caught in the tortured but humorous and telling web of self analysis and doubt.

    Armstrong feels the tension from a completely different perspective, having fallen in love with a man who refuses to vacation alone and whose closest female friends refuse to accept her as part of the group but resent and mistrust her instead.

    The humor, and it is a very funny film, comes from the honesty the situation forces on the participants for them to be able to survive the vacation with their relationships and/or marriages intact.

    Ultimately, the younger woman is accepted on her own terms and the other couples understand more fully their love and dedication to their mates, while embracing true friendships with everyone in the group.

    Vivaldi's classic Four Seasons is the perfect soundtrack for the film and the inspiration for its title.

    I strongly urge anyone in a relationship, whether new or of long-duration, to see this film. It is very rare, indeed, when any studio produces a coming of age film FOR ADULTS that has humor, heart, respect for the middled-aged and absolutely NO teen angst! Bravo!!...more info
  • a classic movie
    In my opinion, this is a must see for long married couples. Having friendships as married people is alot like dating , only harder because both of you have to like both of the others. Add more couples and it becomes even harder. And when one of the couples in your group breaks up, well... it's like a death in the family.
    The Four Seasons depicts 3 long married couples who are close friends and who do alot together. The insights offered by seeing these people interact are worth months of marriage counseling, in a far more humorous way. You will see yourself, your marriage, and your friends in this sweet, funny movie. Invite your closest friends, the ones who have been through it all with you and yours, and have a movie night....more info
  • Four Seasons - A Comedy that makes you think
    This comedy is sometimes hillarious, and sometimes brutally honest. It's not silly... and it's all heart. Not a "chick flick" nor a "guy flick". This is the kind of comedy you'd find in movies like "the Big Chill" or "M*A*S*H (coincidence? nah). This is one to own. And when it comes out on DVD, I'll be the first to buy it. (I don't buy VHS)....more info
  • The Four Seasons
    Jack and Kate, Nick and Ann, Danny and Claudia are three couples who, in their words, had shielded themselves from the "Winds of Divorce" through their friendship with each other. They spend countless weekends and vacations with each other and for years they have a perfect relationship........or so they think. During a spring time weekend trip to celebrate Nick and Ann's 21st wedding anniversary, Nick and Jack are gathering firewood when Nick makes a surprising confession........he's leaving Ann! Nick cites that Ann is no longer stimulating and exciting. He declares that he's through with her, her quirky behaviors, and wants to start a new life with a new family. Jack attempts to get Nick to reconsider his decision but Nick is steadfast.

    During their summer vacation, Nick has met a much younger beautiful women. Enter Ginny who has fallen for the older, wiser, and seasoned Nick. She is impressed with his job, his life experience, and believes most everything he tells her about himself. Nick and Ginny are very happy but it leaves Jack and Kate and Danny and Claudia feeling insecure and unsure about their own futures. The story addresses the other couple but mainly focuses on Jack and Kate. Kate accuses Jack of being jealous of Nick and Jack is trying to convince her he is not while maintaining a composed exterior.

    Alan Alda did a fantastic job of writing and directing this film about middle age couples in the early 1980's. While I was in my 20's at the time, it addresses the fears that middle aged couples experienced, sudden divorce, younger women interested in older men. It also addresses the stability that couples also felt. One very touching scene was when Nick and Jack were gathering fire wood. Nick and Jack have the following conversation:

    Nick: Are you and Kate happy?

    Jack: Yeah, very.

    Nick: No I mean really happy.

    Jack: Yes but not every minute. There are times when we drive each other crazy. Like the way her teeth click when she eats, the way I smell my sweatshirt before I put it on. Then there are times like the one we're in now. It comes over us like an unexpected wave. I can't wait to be with her and when I'm with her my heart beats faster. I'd expect that from a stranger but not someone I've spent half my life with. It's wonderful.

    This particular scene always stuck with me. I bought the movie and enjoy watching it frequently. Whether you were middle aged at the time, a young person, or whatever, you will enjoy this movie. ...more info
  • The Four Seasons
    An older movie with actual writing...
    Alan Alda is always a bit different and loved. Nothing blows up, but instead The Four Seasons is about mid-life couples who go through the trials of growing older. They prove that even us older folks have lives and actual feelings.
    I feel that this movie is a must see for us baby boomers. It's ok to have fun, it's ok to get mad or to be sad...and it is ok to be disappointed with our friends sometimes while we still love them. A good Sunday afternoon or rainy day movie to watch and a must for your video library....more info
  • Exceptionally Enjoyable
    I actually saw this film first in the theatre and have since watched the video many, many times. I still laugh out loud at many scenes. It was great writing, terrific cast, great locations and wonderful direction. I just wish it would be released on DVD....more info
  • Never stopped laughing
    I saw this movie when it first came out and I have never laughed so much in my life. I had never been a big Carol Burnett or Alan Alda fan, but the mix of these two, and with Rita Moreno and Jack Weston in my opinion was brillant casting. Bess Armstrong adds to the plot of growing old with friends, and you are left wanting another vacation at the end of this movie. I highly recommend it for the 40 to 50 age group....more info
  • Four seasons
    Why isn't this wonderful movie on dvd? I've been waiting a long time. I have it on tape, but wouldn't it be great on DVD, with audio comentary....more info
  • Well, you're wrong: I'm quirky BECAUSE I hurt.
    Ah, finally we see the release of Alan Alda's tour de force THE FOUR SEASONS on DVD. While we should all rejoice in the fact that it is to be released at all (it wasn't looking good there for a while!) we should also scoff at what a flimsy release this is going to be. A commentary by Alda would have been great; an ANAMORPHIC WIDESCREEN TRANSFER would have been better! This is going to be another lame "pan and scan" job with no extras, and that is sad. This is a fantastic film about adult relationships with excellent performances around the table. I love this movie and I will buy the DVD the day it comes out, but a decent issue of this classic film would have made the buy all the more sweeter. The good side is at least the cost reflects the package. And now, I present some irrelevance: "Look, you can't lay all that on my shoulders. Don't you know how much this place stinks? Don't you know what it's like to stand day after day in blood? In the blood of children? I hate this place. And if I can't stand up to it to your satisfaction, then... then the hell with it. How dare you? The hell with your Iowa naivete, and the hell with your hero worship and your teddy bear, and while you're at it, the hell with you! Why don't you grow up for crying out loud? I'm not here for you to admire. I'm here to pull bodies out of a sausage grinder, if possible without going crazy. Period." ...more info