Phyllis and Harold
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Director Cindy Kleine examines the sometimes-turbulent, sometimes-tender 60-year marriage between her mother and father in this documentary that blends cinéma vérité -style filmmaking with first-hand reporting. The result is a film that traces the relationship of Kleine's parents from their pre-World War II courtship straight into the new millennium, revealing long-held family secrets as it celebrates the unique personalities of two people who may not always get along, but forever remain deeply in love.
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© Rainbow Releasing

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 70%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's a fascinating plea, on Kleine's part, to make sense of the many cul-de-sacs and hidden passageways in her mother's life. She doesn't succeed, but you have the distinct feeling that she couldn't have."
‑ Wesley Morris, Boston Globe
"An impossibly self-involved portrait of a union far more commonplace than its offspring seem to believe."
‑ Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times
"The film is well done. But it is a late arrival in a decade-long parade of dysfunctional-family indie films."
‑ James Verniere, Boston Herald
"One of the most profound movies about married life seen on screen in some time."
‑ Pete Hammond, Boxoffice Magazine
"Sports a talented eye for cinematic images but forgoes much documentarian value in its general refusal to address these matters from a more naturally candid state."
‑ Rob Humanick, Projection Booth
"Phyllis and Harold has extraordinary breadth and depth and has been made with wit, compassion and imagination, and it reflects the complexity of life itself."
‑ Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
"My only question: Why does Kleine -- who's married to Andre Gregory of My Dinner With Andre fame -- think that anybody outside her family gives a damn?"
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"Very funny, and surprisingly touching, Phyllis and Harold finds romance and poetry out there in Long Island -- accomplishments indeed."
‑ Gerald Peary, Boston Phoenix
"An engaging, earnest tale bungled through the intrusions of the filmmaker."
‑ David Cornelius,
"Why someone would want to lay bare their parents' marital issues for the world to see is beyond me, but that doesn't detract from the film's insightfulness."
‑ Mike McGranaghan, Aisle Seat
"Engrossing, sad and heartbreaking."
‑ Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News
"Kleine forgoes good-old-days nostalgia in an effort to examine a generation that braved the new America sans a rule book."
‑ S. James Snyder, Time Out New York
"A portrait of a marriage that epitomizes "lives of quiet desperation.""
‑ Robert W. Butler, Kansas City Star
"Everything you wanted to know about a marriage and probably a few things you could have done without."
‑ Ron Wilkinson, Monsters and Critics
"Their very middle-class ordinariness and conventionality makes this an archetypal look beneath the stereotypes of a generation who felt pressured to conform in the suburbs."
‑ Nora Lee Mandel,
More reviews for Phyllis and Harold on Rotten Tomatoes