After hearing from his wife's divorced friends about their experiences, director Paul Mazursky decided, some years later, to interview several hundred divorced women. An Unmarried Woman humorously and affectionately bears the weight of… More After hearing from his wife's divorced friends about their experiences, director Paul Mazursky decided, some years later, to interview several hundred divorced women. An Unmarried Woman humorously and affectionately bears the weight of that research, as it follows the joys, heartbreaks and adventures of its heroine, Erica (Jill Clayburgh). After 15 years of apparently happy marriage in New York City, Erica's husband Martin (Michael Murphy) unexpectedly and tearfully confesses that he is leaving her for a girl he met in a department store. She does not take this announcement well, and goes through many emotions in swift succession. In her ensuing desperation and depression, she seeks out Tanya, a psychiatrist (played by real-life psychiatrist Penelope Russianoff), who tries to get her to adjust to her present situation. To Erica, this means dating, which she does, sharing her hilarious morning-after appraisals with her coffee-klatch feminine pals. She gains enough confidence that when Charlie (Cliff Gorman), one of her so-so dates, says he wants a relationship, she sends him away. She discovers friendship and some joy in her encounters with Saul (Alan Bates), a British artist. When ex-husband Martin comes to her after being kicked out by his young girlfriend and asks to resume their marriage, Erica again opts for independence. Saul, too, asks to marry her, but she indicates that she has come to prize her independence -- any relationship she has will be on her terms from now on. This very adult movie, celebrating the trials and strengths of middle-aged women, was a box-office and critical success for director Mazursky. Indeed, some consider it his finest film.