Made soon after his first commercial success (Faces), this 1970 film is John Cassavetes’s most irritating, full of the male braggadocio and bluster that mar even some of his best work. But it’s impossible to dismiss or shake off entirely, and the performancesas is usually the case in his workare potent. Three middle-aged pals (Cassavetes, Ben Gazzara, Peter Falk) take off for Europe when their best friend dies; they gamble, booze, womanize, and generally try to have a good time, eventually slouching back home to their spouses and children. The sadness of suburbanites trying to liberate themselves, already the subject of Faces, is given some further inflections here. With Jenny Runacre, Jenny Lee Wright, and Noelle Kao. 131 min. (JR)

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