There's Always Vanilla (George A. Romero / U.S., 1971):

"A productive kind of rudeness" is an indispensable trait in the face of inanity, George A. Romero surveying the whole countercultural megillah is a bracing steamroller. The model is not The Graduate but Vidor's The Crowd, the young couple's meet-cute is a collision of hangovers that races beyond peevish larkiness and into middle-class stagnation. The drifting smartass (Raymond Laine) ditches his band, takes his irritable father to the go-go joint, and learns that the old flame's child might be his son. Meanwhile, the starlet (Judith Ridley) feigns rapture over torrents of beer and fends off a lecherous director, just another day in the realm of TV commercials. Jumpy editing and a doomsday recollection of Kramer's On the Beach bring them together, their affair is a flickering interlude encircled by countless streams of bullshit. "I do have a good background for advertisement—I was a pimp for a couple of years." New and old guards, the avant-garde contraption gawked at by passersby (cf. Penn's Mickey One), the titular ice-cream metaphor that can barely get a chuckle out of the half-hearted novelist. Horror shadows fall on the abortionist's pad, but to Romero there's nothing more terrifying than a generation's aspirations literally floating away in the middle of a bright sunny day. "If you can dig it, the whole thing was kind of like that machine..." De Palma is contemporaneous with Get to Know Your Rabbit, Season of the Witch roasts the domestic dilemma from another angle. With Johanna Lawrence, Roger McGovern, Eleanor Schirra, and Richard Ricci.

--- Fernando F. Croce

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