Original Air Date: May 8th, 1979
1979 was a great year for romance. Or so they tell me, cuz, you know, I was 9 and stuff. Some great love stories played the small screen, such as the incredible tale of underage lust known as Sooner or Later, a little ditty about older people who find love and tragedy called Valentine and the epic time travel love story The Two Worlds of Jenny Logan. Love was in the air, in the wood paneling and floating inside the bottoms of our bells…
I’m just going to put it out there - I detest the term Cougar. I hate the phrase MILF almost as much, but find some slight humor in it, so I’ll let it slide (lucky you, MILF). I remember a time when women chose to be dignified rather than all out skanks. Yeah, I said skanks (that’s a word I like!), and you know sometimes they actually dated younger men… and it seemed OK. Tawdry, sure. But tawdry is alright, I mean, who doesn’t love tawdry? Let me pick a random year - Oh, say 1979 and let’s pick a movie. I dunno… Oh, how about Anatomy of a Seduction, where the filmmakers throw a little decorum into the Spring/Fall scenario, and up the hot factor with one Jameson Parker as the young stud in question.
Susan Flannery is Maggie, a divorced woman with a teenage son working at an architecture firm. It seems everyone around her is divorced and on the make. Her best friend is Nina (Rita Moreno who owns the show), another divorcee who is content with Mr. Right Now. Nina’s son Ed (Jameson Parker who was 32 but played a 20 year old, and quite well), comes home for the summer. He’s a Princeton student of architecture, so Nina fixes him up with Maggie. Of course, Nina only meant as an intern, but one thing leads to another and before you know it Ed and Maggie are hot to trot.
At the beginning of the film, Maggie is an extremely dignified, but rather uptight, career woman. When Ed begins to impact her life, she starts doing things she long put behind her, like going on amusement park rides and roller skating. Ed also takes her to the ballet and to plays and is sophisticated enough to appreciate the things the wiser Maggie enjoys. Of course, all good TV-movie-things must blow up in someone’s face, and boy does it ever! When Maggie’s son and Nina learn about the illicit affair, it gets real ugly and Moreno has the scene of her life just emoting the hell out of it! God, I love that woman!
Eventually, Maggie has to take the reins of the situation and determine not only what she wants but also what is best for Ed.
I admit it, I loved every second of this movie. It’s a great little romance flick with wonderful acting, a sweet story and roller skating! What’s not to love? Flannery is great as the sophisticated Maggie. The character commands respect and Flannery delivers. She makes Maggie relatable while also playing her as a bit of a super woman. She never flounders, always knows what to say and can handle any situation. Parker is also really good. He was so adorable in this movie, he made me want to giggle. I loved the slow development of their relationship and watching his schoolboy crush turn into something far more powerful… and believable. Maybe I was just up for a little romance, as I have been known to be, but this really fit the bill.
You can watch Anatomy of a Seduction online at Hulu.