Stars: William Holden, Kay Lenz, Roger C. Carmel
Director: Clint Eastwood
Genre: Romantic Drama
One of Clint Eastwood's largely forgotten directorial efforts, Breezy is a cultural time capsule--a sweet little May-December romance with undertones of Hollywood's dismissive attitude toward the hippie counterculture of the day.
Kay Lenz is the free-spirited "Breezy," and as the nickname would suggest, the opening scene finds her trying to tiptoe out the door on some dude she's just spent the night with, giving us the first of numerous T&A shots that she will benevolently bestow upon us throughout the film. (Reminding us poor silicone-bombarded lads of the twenty-first century how beautiful a woman's NATURAL breasts can be when they don't look like two identical over-inflated party balloons!)
While hitchhiking, Breezy gets picked up by this perv guy who broad brushes the whole counter culture movement of the sixties and early seventies as a bunch of "hippie-dippies,"
while simultaneously trying to put the moves on her. She has to bail on the guy, and ends up outside the Laurel Canyon digs of real estate agent Frank Harmon (William Holden). Frank is initially stand-offish to her--he's gone through a devastating divorce, and anyway, as he notes in one scene, he's twice her age. An understatement because Holden was 55 in 1973, (and actually looked over sixty) and Kay Lenz was 20, playing a character who is ostensibly 18 or 19.
Anyway, she keeps coming back, hanging around, and slipping in and out of her duds in front of him to take a shower and stuff-- in that cavalier manner that chicks had back then (oh, for the good old days) and before you know it--convention be damned-- they've got a thang goin' on.
But Breezy is not what she seems. What she really wants is romance, commitment... and hey, Frank's upscale lifestyle wouldn't hurt either. What Frank wants is to enjoy her favors for a time, and then remind himself of what a foolish old goat he is to think that this preposterous affair could last. And that, of course, leads to the bittersweet part of Breezy .
On the surface, Kay Lenz and William Holden may have been the oddest of Hollywood's odd-couple pairings, but there was a chemistry there that seemed to work, nonetheless--especially in their sweetly erotic candle-lit bedroom scene-- giving (false) hope to all the aging lechers who still maintained hopes they might snag a wayward young thing of easy virtue like Breezy, who would be just as arbitrary about her choice of rutting mates. (Not to be confused, amidst all the election talk, with running mates.)
The acting was nothing special--Kay Lenz was still honing her skills at this point--and Holden's performance is one-dimensional, but fitting in with the overall quality of what we were accustomed to in those days because most of the actors were "acting." No directors like Jim Jarmusch around at the time. (Remember how wooden the performances seemed in those movies from the forties and fifties? It got a little better in the sixties, but still pretty spotty until the likes of Dustin Hoffman came along.)
Breezy, which could best be described as an adult style fairy tale, gets the nod as a curiosity-- sort of an anti-Easy Rider of its era, where the free-spirited flower child stands out as an oddity because she's surrounded by some real squares. Nonetheless, it's an interesting film, if for nothing else than the jaundiced-eyed snapshot of an era it presents.
With some original music by Michele Legrand.