A Lovely, Melancholy “Year By The Sea”
By Skip Sheffield
Divorce is painful and difficult no matter how civil the partners are. I know only too well.
“Year By The Sea” is a lovely and melancholy movie about a marriage on the rocks after 30 years. It is based on a New York Times best-seller by Joan Anderson and it stars Karen Allen in a welcome return to the big screen.
Karen is Joan, long married to Robin (Michael Cristofer), a self-centered businessman who is suddenly transferred from Nyack, New York to Wichita, Kansas. The couple’s younger son has just gotten married. Joan figures she has put in her dutiful time as wife and mother. She has aspirations to be a writer. On a whim after seeing a promotional brochure for Cape Cod, she decides to rent a cabin and “find herself.”
The cabin is comically accessible only by rowboat. Cape Cod is one of my favorite areas of the USA, so the scenery brought back pleasant memories. Once there Joan strikes up a friendship with another Joan (Celia Imrie), married to a famous writer who is close to death. The two Joans bond, and Karen Allen’s character becomes intrigued with a sexy, married fisherman (Yannick Bisson). There are side plot devices. “Year By The Sea” is definitely a “chick flick,” but it is instructional for men too.
“Are we ever really complete?” Joan wonders. The answer is probably no, but if you go searching for yourself, Cape Cod is a good place to look.