Same Time, Next Year is a textbook example of how to successfully transport a stage play to the big screen. The production of Bernard Slade’s play, sensitively directed by Robert Mulligan, is everything you’d want from this kind of film. And it features two first class performances by Ellen Burstyn and Alan Alda.
The picture opens in 1951 at a resort in northern California. Burstyn, a 24-year-old Oakland housewife, and Alda, a 27-year-old accountant from New Jersey, meet over dinner, get along and have a fling. The next morning they wake up in the same bed, talk about what’s happened, realize that while they’re both happily married with six children between them, they’re in love.
They make a pact to meet at the same resort every year, which is just what they do and is just what the film is about. We see the two every five or six years as they adjust to the changes time brings.
What always remains through the years is the deep affection the two share. It’s nice to see a film about two people who like each other this deeply.
1978: Nominations: Best Actress (Ellen Burstyn), Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Song (‘The Last Time I Felt Like This’)