Husbands and Wives [1992]

In 1992, Woody Allen and Mia Farrow--heretofore the Lunt and Fontanne of Hollywood on the Hudson--went public with a media-saturated battle over Allen's affair with Farrow's adopted daughter. Only a few months later, Allen released this film, starring himself and Farrow acting out a virtually identical plot line: an unhappy marriage begins to crumble when the husband strays with a much younger woman (in this case, one of his students, played by Juliette Lewis). It turned out to be one of Allen's most lacerating comedies, a story about the fragility of relationships and the foolishness of older men seeking to recapture their youth with younger women. It features strong performances by Judy Davis, Liam Neeson, and director Sydney Pollack, as a friend of Allen's who chucks his longtime wife for an aerobics instructor, thus planting seeds of marital dissolution in all of his friends' heads. Husbands and Wives provided an uncanny peek into Allen's image of himself and his personal life, despite all of his protestations to the contrary. --Marshall Fine

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