i am glad i watched the movie.
if the first three movies entertained me but only left me still feeling clueless about this whole man-woman thing-- not to mention envious that it could happen to others and actually work out but not to me-- "The Mirror Has Two Faces" is a movie after my own heart.
there are these two main characters, a man (jeff bridges) and a woman (barbra streisand), both in their thirties to forties, accomplished professionals (jeff is a math professor at columbia u while barbra is a lit professor at the same u), fine human beings, but who are still loveless and alone.
i loved jeff's thesis--that maybe the crazy thing is the illusion of romantic love and sex and passion, that the real and lasting thing is true friendship, a meeting of the minds and souls--because that's what i've been thinking that will finally work for me after the experiences of over the past two and a half years' romantic misadventures. but i still empathize with barbra's longing too--how a marriage can be not only a meeting of the bodies and hormones and hearts, but also a meeting of the minds and souls. barbra wants it all and so do i!
anyway, the story progresses with jeff finding barbra through an ad he placed for "true friendship and companionship", which barbra's slutty sister answered in her behalf. a good friendship of shared interests and laughter and affectionate tolerance of each other's eccentricities develop. finally, jeff proposes to barbra, although the proposal is more like a business proposal than a romantic one: "we share a lot of things in common, we have a good friendship, we have trust, respect and affection... why don't we get married?" barbra agrees, hoping that it's only the beginning of the realization of her secret dream of having it all, not understanding that for jeff, it is already the ultimate realization of his thesis.
their story is complicated when barbra actually falls in love with jeff, and jeff the same for barbra, but although barbra wants to move forward with more, jeff feels betrayed that now he has to contend with his growing lust and passion for her. to jeff, sex would complicate and ruin everything; while to barbra, it would place their relationship at a higher level.
talk about the battle of the sexes being reversed. hmmm.
of course, in the end, the story is wonderfully resolved, with each character evolving to a new level of consciousness, letting go of their previous fears and shells and becoming more radiant as human beings.
what made this movie different for me was, when the other three previous movies only left me feeling mushy and quite jealous, this one makes me feel more hopeful again, especially when i think of the very rare and few friendships i am having now that approximates authentic meeting of the minds and even souls,... with the passions just being held in check...
hmmm. i may really be on to something real at last now.
i will have to wait for the meeting of the hearts to kick in, still, though.
i still want it all, after all!