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This week’s pick is “The Seduction of Joe Tynan”, a 1979 political drama comedy in which Alan Alda, as a rising Senator candidate, falls in love with a woman from his election team, played by Meryl Streep. The image library has been updated with better quality captures from the film and three video clips have been added to the video archive. After the cut, find a review on the film. And as always, share your thoughts and memories :-) Enjoy!
“The Seduction of Joe Tynan” is one of Meryl’s lesser-known films, probably because it was part of a trio of projects that were released in 1979, besides the highly acclaimed “Manhattan” and the Oscar-winning “Kramer vs. Kramer”. In all three films, Meryl plays the supporting woman to the leading man – twice the ex-wife, once the lover – yet they couldn’t be more different. While she played feisty in “Manhattan” and vulnerable in “Kramer”, Karen Traynor is independent, straight-forward and intelligent – in one scene Tynan compares her to John F. Kennedy – because you could see his intelligence, wit and passion in his eyes. The one thing you could compare to the other films is that she is already stuck in a failed marriage. The film’s heart is the titular Senator Joe Tynan – and Alan Alda is perfect in this part, playing the successful politician and family man. His fight for political success takes as much time of the film as his private struggle with his unhappy wife and rebelious teenage daughter. When he falls in love with a consultant to his election campaign, the character that Meryl plays, he has to decide if his passion for this woman is important enough to ruin his political image. The 1970s brought many policital films, and I wouldn’t count “Joe Tynan” among the best. Watching it today, it has lost much of the pace it might have had when it released. Still, it’s worth a watch for the quality acting coming from Alda, who’s able to transform the charm and humor of his “M.A.S.H.” character to the big screen, Streep – with a Southern drawl, Barbara Harris and Melvyn Douglas.