Not saying Chapter Two is one of my favorite movies, at least not yet. Maybe after I’ve seen it another 10-20 times which will probably happen, then maybe it will become one of my favorite movies. Chapter Two is certainly one of my favorite Marsha Mason movies as well as James Caan. And is certainly one of my favorite dramatic comedies. And this is exactly what it is. A movie with a lot of humor, with very funny people and not the just the two main players, but Joe Bologna and Valerie Harper as well. But also a movie with serious drama with a man dealing with serious issues about not getting over the death of his first wife and not ready to move on from her, but not realizing that until he remarries a beautiful woman that he truly loves.
Dramatic comedy to me at least and speaking as a fan of Alfred Hitchcock who I at least believe is the master of both dramatic comedy but suspense comedy, is comedy about serious issues. If you look at the great sitcom M*A*S*H you see exactly what dramatic comedy is. People who find themselves in crazy but serious situations but then find a way to make fun of that as a way to let out how they feel about their situation, as well as a way to maintain their sanity. If you watch the movie Chapter Two, the first hour or so of the movie is all comedy and sarcasm about romance and romantic relationships that the four main characters have been involved in life. With the characters being very open and honest about their struggles and successes with their relationships.
The Joe Bologna character Leo essentially saying that he loves his wife, but he loves women more and can’t be satisfied with just one woman. He loves being married, but he can’t handle being settled down with just one woman. The George Schneider character (played by James Caan) not ready to move on from his first wife who is dead, but is pressured by his brother Leo to start dating again. Talking about his last few dates and how awful and flawed the women that he went out with were. And being very funny about those dates and the women he went out with.
The whole way that Jennie (played by Marsha Mason) and George get together is funny. Neither one sure they want to go out with the other, but are intrigued attracted enough with the other that they don’t want to let the opportunity go and share a few funny and charming phone calls together before they finally set up a pre-date with each other. And spend 5-10 minutes together starting to get to know each other before deciding that they want to go out on a real date.
And then the drama, well depression really as far as George sets in and he goes into this deep mental shell. After it sets in that he’s married again to a different woman a beautiful adorable charming witty woman in Jennie and now has officially moved on from his dead wife and starts taking out his frustrations on his new wife. And the rest of the movie becomes about whether George and Jennie will stay together. Will George break out of his shell and bring his new beautiful wife into his life.
Chapter Two is a great movie for people who are fans of both drama and comedy, because you get the best of both worlds. very dramatic serious scenes involving very serious and honest people, who have a great way of expressing those feeling with very quick and smart humor. This is not a softball comedy about very ordinary or less than ordinary people who find themselves way in over their heads and as a result commit all sorts of screw ups. Or a heavy-hitting drama that can leave people crying half way into the movie because of how dramatic and depressing the movie is. But instead a movie about good honest people who find themselves going though rough times, but use smart humor as a way to express how they feel and get though those situations in life.