Film is not heavyhanded in its approach either to hippie life, or to what is considered 'normal' modes of behavior. Instead, there is a sympathetic look at the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Film is not heavyhanded in its approach either to hippie life, or to what is considered ‘normal’ modes of behavior. Instead, there is a sympathetic look at the advantages and disadvantages of each.Pic derives its prime value from an excellent screenplay. Story is relatively simple: Peter Sellers, an LA lawyer, turns on to hippie life as an escape from conformity and hypocrisy. Later, he finds out that human nature is independent of superficial environment, returns briefly to his former life, but winds up running away again. Film blasts off into orbit via top-notch acting and direction. Sellers’ performance – both in scenes which spotlight his character as well as ensemble sequences in which everyone is balanced nicely – is an outstanding blend of warmth, sensitivity, disillusion and optimism. Jo Van Feet is simply brilliant as Sellers’ mother, with Salem Ludwig also on target as his dad. Joyce Van Patten’s performance as Sellers’ pushy fiancee is delightful.
I Love You, Alice B. Toklas!
Warner/Seven Arts. Director Hy Averback; Producer Charles Maguire; Screenplay Paul Mazursky, Larry Tucker; Camera Philip Lathrop; Editor Robert C. Jones; Music Elmer Bernstein; Art Director Pato Guzman
(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1968. Running time: 92 MIN.
Peter Sellers Jo Van Fleet Leigh Taylor-Young Joyce Van Patten David Arkin Herb Edelman