Pete ‘n’ Tillie (1972) Film Review B-

Pete 'n' Tillie
DIRECTOR: Martin Ritt
BOTTOM LINE: Tillie (Carol Burnett) is single in her late thirties. At a party, she is introduced to Pete (Walter Matthau), a confirmed bachelor. On their first date, given a choice of beverages from Burnett, Matthau answers, “Whatever’s the most trouble.” It’s the best line in the movie, and it occurs way too early. Her best friend, Gertrude, is played by Geraldine Page, who won the fifth of her eight Oscar nominations for this role.
And then there is her other best friend, Jimmy, the film’s token gay guy, played by René Auberjonois, who had one of the most memorable names in cinema. There is nothing special about Jimmy except that he knows Gertrude’s actual age (well, he is the token gay guy!). Meanwhile, director Martin Ritt and screenwriter Julius J. Epstein (Oscar nomination) made him a kind of saint with no life. All he wants to do is take care of Tillie and offer to marry her if that would make her happy (she wisely refuses). It’s not exactly a gay stereotype, but it’s a bit one-dimensional.


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