ated one, a nympho, and a respectablenbut not spotless housewife—clippednanachronistically from the pages oi Redbook,nor Play girl, whose sketched attitudesnare quite devoid of any depth.nAfter a hot summer day of pseudopoeticalnsurrealistic frolics, not one of themnfeels sweaty or sleepy, is afflicted bynheartburn or boredom, or needs a momentnof solitary musing—as happens toneven the greatest champions of the idyll:nDafnis and Chloe, or Hermia and Lysandernfrom the original. Thus banalitynchases banality in an endless stream of loquacitynthat says nothing. There’s anMendelssohn score and artsy impressionisticnvisualness of photography thrownninto the brew. This all to celebrate Mr.ncontinued from page 39, column 1nunder each other; he does it to thenteacher. He sticks with Bergman, Smilesnof a Summer Night {X^’)’)). Aszcoaxtihutornto The New Yorker, Allen is no literarynslouch, so he goes back to Shakespeare’sntrifling comedy and throws innMendelssohn for good measure. StevenMartin may go for the cinematic pastichenwith his Pennies from Heaven and DeadnMen Don’t Wear Plaid, but Allen is stillnthe master at hijinks, as he shows here.nHe couldn’t make another Take thenMoney and Run or he would be hungnfrom the lamp post outside of Elaine’s.nPseudo-Bergman wouldn’t play. Sonwhat he did in his most recent films isnpull the chairs out from under everyonen—including himself. It isn’t particularlynhilarious; indeed in some cases dull. Itnstrikes a mean at vapid. But now Allen isnpositioned to make Woody Allen filmsnonce again. I think he has found hisnMeaning. His search didn’t take himnthrough the typical Hollywood route—nalcoholism or something worse—justnthrough a couple of bad movies. He’snback where he started which, consideringntheup-and-comers, isn’t bad at all.n—Stephen Macaulayn40inChronicles of CultttrenAllen, a comic freed from strugglingnwith the enmities of being, as Keatonnhad to do, or formulating the metaphorsnfor the absurd, as Groucho Marx wasnfond of doing. Were Mr. Allen to put allnhis movies together in a giant, nonstopnscreening, the viewer would notice litdenreason for interruption or separate titles:nMr. Allen’s monologue would runnsmoothly, always the same, always on thenlevel of “How-to” psychological manualsnand best-selling sex almanacs, nevernabout emotions, always about emotionalnwarts, never about life’s adversities andnmisfortunes, always about its inconveniences.nNot long ago, Mr. Allen gave anninterview in which he expounded hisnfirmly held political beliefs. The sentencesnsounded as if they had been cutnout of editorials in the tabloids.nAn Officer and a Gentleman; Writtennby Douglas Day Stewart; Directed bynTaylor Hackford; Paramount.nOutside of agriculture it’s rather seldomnthat one comes up with a successfiilnhybrid creation—whether in politics,nbusiness or the arts. The authors oi. AnnOfficer and a Gentleman tried andnfailed—and not very honorably. A stylisticnexercise in crossing modern, smirky,ncinematic naturalism (for which a sex actnis no longer an event of any consequence)nwith the old formula in which sexualnreality was always put into a chiaroscuronof discretion and allusion could not andndid not work. It is apparent that, nowadays,nif a director wishes to constmct anstory in which a sexual fact has somenmoral and existential effect, the contemporarynstyle of insouciant, offhand explicitnessnis a deterrent to convincing thenviewer that events on the screen havenweight and importance for human feelingsnand lives.nWhat the authors oiAn Officer v^^xAnto tell us is the story of a young man whondesires to lift himself from the conditionnnnof a street-battered punk to a higher stationnin life. His chosen lever of upwardnmobility is the military school for Navynpilots. Here we enter the hallowedngrounds of the old Hollywood Bildungsroman,nwhere military schools are eithernacademes or incubators of the best innmanhood; that’s where patriotism, courage,nidealism, character virtues, tenacity,nuncompromising honesty were engendered,ninculcated, polished. In thisnrespect, the protagonist of An Officernmoves smoothly among the correct conventions,nneither diminishing nor enrichingnthem—a pleasant surprise in ournera of the idiotic demolition of convention.nWe are soberly aware that his desirento succeed in naval aviation is not sonmuch a result of patriotism but the evidencenof his need to “realize” himself asna human being; however, even thisnmuch of affirmative intentions is vague,nleft to surmise, unstated either declarativelynor dramatically—although hisnclosest friend during the training mentionsn”values.” So, finally, we assess himnaccording to his sex life—and what happensnhere is an exercise of modernngrossness presented as realism, whichnproves the author’s bondage to trivialnand ultimately naive and banal simplemindedness.nAs long as military schools exist—anywhere,nanytime—girls in the area will bencrucial components of reality. Cadetsnmeet girls and something happens. Centuriesnbefore the feminist free-love concept,nthere was a lot of lovemaking of allndegrees in those environments, but withnone ironclad rule: if a girl wanted “fun”nor “good times” she jumped right intonbed; if a girl wanted a ring—and most ofnthem wanted just that—then that’snwhere literature began, and the probingnof what constitutes sincerity, love, hypocrisynor subterfuge became the staplenof fiction, drama and movies. What thenworking-class girls in An Officer unabashedlynwant is to get ahead in lifenthrough solid wedlock, but the scriptwriternand director let them have sex onnthe first date, which makes any fiirthern