The Mirror Has Two Faces - * * *

A thoughtful romantic comedy about love, marriage, sex and society. Barbra Streisand stars as Rose Morgan, a professor of literature, who though unlucky at love, still dreams of romance. Jeff Bridges is Gregory Larkin, a mathematics professor, who becomes convinced that sex and ideas of romantic love destroys all meaningful relationships. The two meet and begin a relationship based on the principals of “courtly love”…a meeting of minds rather than emotion. The two fall in like, and eventually marry; but, while Gregory is content, Rose still longs for romance, love and sex. In it’s first two acts, The Mirror Has Two Faces works well, dealing with Rose & Gregory’s courtship and marriage with plenty of humor and insightfulness. The film loses its way a bit in the final act, when Rose undergoes a “transformation” via exercise, diet and cosmetics. It somehow loses the underdog appeal that it had, and begins to buy into the societal pressures that it earlier rejected. It picks up a bit in the finale, but it leaves you with a feeling of being cheated…the underdog can’t win at all…she has to change in order to find happiness. Both Bridges and Streisand do a good job in their roles; it takes each a while to get going, but there are plenty of enjoyable character building moments to help them along. Streisand’s direction lends a light enjoyable tone throughout the film, showing she has a good comic touch. Overall, even though the film makes a couple of missteps it remains a delightful romantic comedy.

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