Tony Mastroianni Review Collection

What to do for an encore? Nothing

Cleveland Press February 5, 1971

Paul Mazursky had a big success in his first effort, "Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice." "Alex in Wonderland" is his second.

What does he do (along with producer and co-writer Larry Tucker) in coming up with a second? That's what "Alex is all about - what does a director with one successful film do for en encore?

BOTH MAZURSKY and his hero do exactly nothing. Whatever Mazursky's problems may have been in looking for a subject for a second picture they are not interesting enough to serve as subject for an entire movie.

This is introverted self-indulgence. Having nothing to do he attempts to make a virtue out of this lack. This picture within a picture has been done before. That's what Federico Fellini's '8 1/2'' was all about. But where Fellini dazzled with technique Mazursky simply bores with imitations.

HE ADMITS the Fellini borrowing by introducing Fellini into his movie. Mazursky also acts a role himself, that of a producer with no ideas who wants to latch onto a winning director.

Donald Sutherland in long hair, long beard and hippie garb strolls through the picture as Alex, alternately dreamy and short-tempered.

He is looking for meaning in his life, both personal and professional. What it's all about may be an interesting question to pose to your analyst. For movie audiences it simply strengthens their interest in television.