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SOMEONE TO LOVE (director/writer: Henry Jaglom; cinematographer: Hanania Baer; editor: Henry Jaglom; cast: Henry Jaglom (Danny Sapir), Orson Welles (Himself), Ojar Kodar (Yelena), Michael Emil (Mickey Sapir), Sally Kellerman (Edith Helm), Stephen Bishop (Blue), David Frishberg (Harry), Andrea Marcovicci (Helen Eugene), Miles Kreuger (Theater Manager); Runtime: 106; MPAA Rating: R; producer: M. H. Simonson; International Rainbow Picture; 1987)
It gets its gravitas from the presence of Orson Welles’ wise man. This was the legendary star’s last acting gig.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Henry Jaglom(“Always”/”Eating”/”Can She Bake A Cherry Pie?”) is director, writer, editor and star of this at times interesting experimental documentary-like comedy about searching for answers about loneliness among an assorted bunch of middle-aged Hollywood types. Its novel way of film-making has the loosely scripted story revolve around confessional interviews among theater guests who are asked “Why are you alone?” The plotless and uneven film is only occasionally on target for its sociological quest, more often its observations are superficial, its broad theme only loosely covered and its romantic sensibilities are too sentimental. It gets its gravitas from the presence of Orson Welles’ wise man. This was the legendary star’s last acting gig, who died in 1985-two years after the low-budget film was released.

The off-putting, extremely nervous, crass, loquacious but shy with the ladies East Coast real estate developer Mickey Sapir (Michael Emil, real-life brother of Jaglom) makes his annual visit to LA to see his Hollywood film director brother Danny Sapir (Henry Jaglom). After learning his brother bought real estate that includes Santa Monica’s famous Mayfair Theater, which will shortly be owned by new investors who intend to knock it down for a shopping mall, Danny sends telegrams to only his Hollywood friends who are alone on Valentine’s Day and invites them to the theater without revealing his intentions to interview them about living alone. Once there Danny turns the camera on them, upsetting some, and they answer why they are alone. Orson, addressed as Danny’s friend, sits unnoticed in the balcony and observes.

Jaglom plays himself, as the frustrated director because his cabaret singer girlfriend Helen (Andrea Marcovicci), who will tell her lady friend how to play one-man Scrabble, refuses to commit to a serious relationship. None of the other so-called lonely hearts have much to say that isn’t self-indulgent, and they include estranged from hubby famous movie star Sally Kellerman, jazz pianist-songwriter David Frishberg and the sophisticated Yugoslavian non-actress Ojar Kodar. A likable Orson appears at the conclusion to mop things up and pontificate about not worrying about things, that we are alone even if we find love because it’s only an illusion to think we are not alone.

I wasn’t moved and don’t think I learned a thing about love or loneliness from this serio-comic psycho-drama, but I applaud the filmmakers attempt to try something different as to how a film can be made and got a kick out of Orson’s robust laugh and sincere attempt to see if Jaglom found an innovative way to film.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”