|From left to right: Ted, Carole, Bob & Alice|
|Robert Culp as Bob, Elliot Gould as Ted|
What "Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice" succeeds in doing (and I imagine the impact might have been even stronger in its own time) is capturing a transition in how people had perceived themselves and their relationships from the 1960s as they were heading into the 1970s. The idea of free love becomes bored, bourgeois, trite and contrived in the experience shown through these characters. Their sense of rebellion and experimental freedom sets the stage for the suburban explorations of 'the swinger period' in the 1970's, and merely indicates that what started with a wild and carefree youth culture was now embraced by the middle-aged.
|Carole with Alice -- Dyan Cannon, was nominated for an Oscar in her role|
The following clip begins with one of the film's initial scenes, when Bob (Robert Culp) and Carol (Natalie Wood) have gone on a group retreat to explore a new relationship method phenomenon - a workshop of sorts. Which then sets off their need to impress upon their friends Ted (Elliot Gould) and Alice (Dyan Cannon) how they have acquired a profoundly liberated understanding, in general, and how very evolved they have become with this new mindset. The conversation that ensues over dinner is priceless...