|Harry Hamlin and Michael Ontkean|
A successful oncologist, Zach (Micheal Ontkean) seems to be happily married to his wife and best friend, Claire (Kate Jackson) -- they both love Gilbert and Sullivan, and poet Rupert Brooke -- but all of his life he's been fighting his attraction to men. He is less interested in having a very active sex life as he is in having a romantic, lifetime relationship with another man, and falls (rather quickly) for a foot-loose writer named Bart (Harry Hamlin of Clash of the Titans), who is much more comfortable with his sexuality. As Zach's marriage to Claire approaches its end, will Bart turn out to be the man that Zach's been hoping to find? Making Love, released by Twentieth Century-Fox, was the first major Hollywood film on homosexuality, and was heavily promoted as well. [That Certain Summer tackled the subject on television ten years earlier.] Although it could be argued that they give telefilm-type performances, the three leads are all good, and the film is interesting, with a moving conclusion. The casting of Kate Jackson as the very likable Claire was a smart move. Hamlin at times tries too hard to play it "gay" but Ontkean is fine, although the important sequences when he finally comes out to Claire are a bit awkward in both scripting and performance. Whatever its flaws, Making Love is to be commended for being one of the first films in which gay characters were neither maniacs nor corpses. Wendy Hiller [The Cat and the Canary] plays Winnie, an elderly friend of Zach and Claire's. A particularly charming scene has Zach and Claire entering a singing contest and being really bad just to spare a friendly young lady who was booed from getting the booby prize. Lovely score by Leonard Rosenman.
Verdict: Intelligent if imperfect gay love story -- of sorts. ***.