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      Diary of a Mad Housewife

      R Released Aug 10, 1970 1h 35m Comedy Drama List
      82% Tomatometer 17 Reviews 81% Audience Score 500+ Ratings A New York lawyer (Richard Benjamin) drives his wife (Carrie Snodgress) to a nervous breakdown, a daytime lover (Frank Langella) and group therapy. Read More Read Less

      Critics Reviews

      View All (17) Critics Reviews
      Michael McNay Guardian Balefully brilliant. Jun 8, 2020 Full Review Margaret Hinxman Daily Telegraph (UK) What invariably saves [Diary of a Mad Housewife] from banality is crisp scripting, deft direction and some delectable personality performances. Jun 8, 2020 Full Review Variety Staff Variety An engrossing story of the disintegration of a modern loveless marriage. Oct 30, 2007 Full Review Jas Keimig The Stranger (Seattle, WA) This is definitely not a fun watch, as the abuse Tina endures day after day is incessant. But the film is powerful, well-acted, grimly humorous, and extremely relevant... Dec 9, 2021 Full Review Matt Brunson Film Frenzy Distinguished by its astute insights and wry dialogue. Rated: 3.5/4 Dec 28, 2020 Full Review TV Guide The three leads are excellent. Rated: 3.5/4 Oct 30, 2007 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (34) audience reviews
      Alec B One of the least grating movies about an affair (for one thing, it doesn't treat the central character's infidelity as any kind of solution to their problems) and all of the performances are top notch. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/10/24 Full Review Audience Member it's already over 50 years old and its context is still socially relevant today when it comes to married women the 1950's was when the term housewife was invented and many married women were expected to stay at home, cook, take care of the chores, the children and carry out husbands' demands things have gotten better today with more women being independent and not being restricted to one role in life; they can be independent and be single parents, they don't always have to have a man to be dependent on here in particular we focus on a woman named Tina Balser played by Carrie Snodgress, a housewife who bends to her demanding and verbally/emotionally abusive husband Jonathan played by Richard Benjamin, he tells her how to dress, how things around the house should be, how to act around other people in public even her children are hostile towards her there's really a lot of elements of gaslighting, toxic masculinity, and misogynistic undertones it's a classic example of abuse of power when it comes to the patriarchy of the household Tina's life is hell and she reaches a breaking point until she's had enough of the lacking of sync in her partnership a very young Frank Langella as George Prager bumps into her at a nightclub, at an art convention and they start a passionate affair George starts to unlock her mind on certain ideals about marriage and happiness; to her sex is instinctive, she was lead to believe in old virtues like loyalty and fidelity but really she’s just being told to act like a wife Carrie Snodgress gives a powerhouse performance as this woman trying to assert her own independence and have a voice of her own even though her husband stops her from every angle asserting his authority near the end Peter Boyle makes a small appearance during an important therapy session with others whom have had similar issues; the real question is what is the best course of action for her to take? stay with him and put the pieces back together, leave him and follow her own path or come to the realization that she's the problem? considering what the movie shows us there is no easy answer at times we feel trapped in a corner we don't know what to do, maybe we are never fully satisfied with the life choices we've made, we're just human beings and just not decent ones with this movie it's a relief to see the point of view from the wife and what she feels throughout this entire ordeal of a marriage disintegrating Snodgress and Langella are amazing along with Benjamin playing the right amount of despicable, chauvinistic slimeball of a man who neglects his wife at every turn if nothing else this movie succeeds as an actual wakeup call to not just women but all spouses who feel like they're suffocating Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 08/11/23 Full Review Audience Member It is essentially a psychological and sociological study of a person and her role as housewife, and family and social relationships in general. The movie does this study by showing a certain narrative that is somewhat dated and (maybe for that reason) not always believable. In any case, it'll sure evoke reactions to any viewers of any age. I found the movie at times flat, but most of the time distressful and not always pleasant to watch given the display of abuse, but also some theatrical performances. The characters are not very likable. As much as Tina may be seen as a victim, her often disconnected attitude doesn't make her very likable either. She is surely more likable when she reacts with some degree of emotional display. The acting is good, though. And the movie grabs your attention for the most part as you try to answer questions such as, Who's Tina? and Who's her husband? Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/03/23 Full Review Audience Member One of the least grating movies about an affair (for one thing, it doesn't treat the central character's infidelity as any kind of solution to their problems) and all of the performances are top notch. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/13/23 Full Review Audience Member Pompous, crass, oblivious, degrading, sexist, cruel, materialistic, demanding, and a shameless namedropping social climber. That is how Richard Benjamin appears to Carrie Snodgress in Frank and Eleanor Perry's withering Diary of a Mad Housewife. 'Appears' being the key word, because as the film's brilliant finale reveals, the last 90 minutes of social sadomasochism witnessed by the audience may be more subjective than they realized. Could any man really be as persistently awful as Benjamin's character Jonathan Balser, and could any spouse endure such behavior without resorting to violence? Because as physically satisfying as her affair with an almost equally horrendous Frank Langella was, in no way did it dull the pain inflicted by the sound of her husband screaming "Tinaaaaa!!!!" whilst helplessly sick in bed. And could anyone's child really be as precociously nasty and insulting as hers? Perhaps the most telling exchange in the picture comes during one of many fights between Snodgress and Langella: "I'm a bastard, that's why you come here, it turns you on" "Sometimes it turns me on, and sometimes it makes me wanna throw up" "Everything has its price" Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/01/23 Full Review Audience Member it's already 50 years old and its context is still socially relevant today when it comes to married women the 1950's was when the term housewife was invented and many married women were expected to stay at home, cook, take care of the chores, the children and carry out husbands' demands things have gotten better today with more women being independent and not being restricted to one role in life; they can be independent and be single parents, they don't always have to have a man to be dependent on here in particular we focus on a woman named Tina Balser played by Carrie Snodgress, a housewife who bends to her demanding and verbally/emotionally abusive husband Jonathan played by Richard Benjamin, he tells her how to dress, how things around the house should be, how to act around other people in public even her children are hostile towards her there's really a lot of elements of gaslighting, toxic masculinity, and misogynistic undertones it's a classic example of abuse of power when it comes to the patriarchy of the household Tina's life is hell and she reaches a breaking point until she's had enough of the lacking of sync in her partnership a very young Frank Langella as George Prager bumps into her at a nightclub, at an art convention and they start a passionate affair George starts to unlock her mind on certain ideals about marriage and happiness; to her sex is instinctive, she was lead to believe in old virtues like loyalty and fidelity but really she's just being told to act like a wife Carrie Snodgress gives a powerhouse performance as this woman trying to assert her own independence and have a voice of her own even though her husband stops her from every angle asserting his authority near the end Peter Boyle makes a small appearance during an important therapy session with others whom have had similar issues; the real question is what is the best course of action for her to take? stay with him and put the pieces back together, leave him and follow her own path or come to the realization that she's the problem? considering what the movie shows us there is no easy answer at times we feel trapped in a corner we don't know what to do, maybe we are never fully satisfied with the life choices we've made, we're just human beings and just not decent ones with this movie it's a relief to see the point of view from the wife and what she feels throughout this entire ordeal of a marriage disintegrating Snodgress and Langella are amazing along with Benjamin playing the right amount of despicable, chauvinistic slimeball of a man who neglects his wife at every turn if nothing else this movie succeeds as an actual wakeup call to not just women but all spouses who feel like they're suffocating Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 01/22/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      Diary of a Mad Housewife

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      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis A New York lawyer (Richard Benjamin) drives his wife (Carrie Snodgress) to a nervous breakdown, a daytime lover (Frank Langella) and group therapy.
      Director
      Frank Perry
      Producer
      Frank Perry
      Screenwriter
      Eleanor Perry
      Distributor
      Universal Pictures
      Production Co
      Universal/Universal Int
      Rating
      R
      Genre
      Comedy, Drama
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Aug 10, 1970, Original
      Runtime
      1h 35m