Always (1985) from Tuna

Always (1985) is a Henry Jaglom which he describes as the most personal film he has ever made. It was made by, and stars, Jaglom and his then-estranged wife Patrice Townsend in the actual home they shared while they were in the process of separating. It explores such questions as "what constitutes happiness?", "what is the meaning of love?", and "can marriage be permanent in the modern world?" The story takes place over a 4th of July three day weekend, when he decides to make her a dinner (for the first time) during her visit to sign the divorce papers after a two year separation.

He gets her to eat the meal, and it makes her sick, so she spends the night, which turns out to be an eventful one. First, their best friends, out for the first time since their baby was born, arrive to spend the night. Then, she calls her sister to fetch vitamins and supplements to deal with her recovery, the sister shows up with her boyfriend, and they join the conversations. By the third day, we have learned that all of the players have a different idea about what "happiness" means, and we get the distinct impression that men are willing to settle for something less than "happiness," but that women eventually rebel. In the end, Jaglom and Townsend do part. In spite of loving each other, they just can't live together. Many possible reasons for this are explored within the script.

This is the third of his films I have seen, the other two being Can She Bake a Cherry Pie and Sitting Ducks. For me, it is head and shoulders the best, possibly because of the authenticity of the situation, and the honesty.

It is Jaglom's second highest rated film at IMDB.


Joanna Frank, as one of the friends, shows a breast in the bathtub, where she is sprinkling chocolate on herself. Her theory is that chocolate releases the same chemical in the brain as being in love, and that if she soaks in it, it won't make her fat.

An unknown woman show breasts and buns skinny-dipping at the party on the 4th.

DVD info from Amazon

  • Theatrical trailer(s)

  • Introduction by Henry Jaglom

  • Widescreen letterbox format

Scoop's notes:

Although he is not a mass-market filmmaker, Jaglom has an enthusiastic cult following for his films, which are often just at the technical quality of home movies.

Also in the eclectic cast of Always are director Bob Rafelson (Five Easy Pieces), and Andre Gregory - as in "My Dinner With Andre".

The Critics Vote ...

  • No major reviews online.

The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. IMDb voters score it 6.4/10. It just reaches chick-flick ranking with women scoring it exactly 1 point higher than men. It appeals to all ages equally.
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is a solid C. If the premise appeals to you, you should enjoy seeing it.

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