KRAMER VERSUS KRAMER by Avery Corman

KRAMER VERSUS KRAMER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Corman, who fiddled a snappy metaphysical jig in Oh, God! (1971), intones a straight hortatory tribute to fatherhood--as many charms and angsts as motherhood--starring mag-space salesman Ted, who marries Joanna when the Fire Island singles scene seems to have burnt out for them. They produce a child, and Ted is happy with good job, beautiful Joanna, beautiful Billy. But shortly after Billy's four-year-old birthday party ("". . . the perfect little baskets and the goddamn Charlie Brown motif. Three days on this fucking party. . .""), Joanna, discouraged by Ted from taking a sanity-restoring job, walks out, leaving helpless Dad with the kid. Gradually, however, Ted finds his footing (he miraculously locates a loving housekeeper) and is drawn not unpleasantly into the peanut-butter-playground-Babar circuit, in spite of some random attempts to construct a new sorial life, Ted is curiously content to pal with Billy, who has become not only a real part of his life, but a strengthening focus for his work (two firings, two hirings) and his emotions. But Joanna returns from nowhere--with a lover and a court order to appear for a custody trial. Motherhood wins, of course, and Ted is devastated, but Joanna cops out at the last moment, and Ted's ""little boy"" is his once more. Some delightful tot/father dialectic, an amusing, jaded, run around the singles arena--and a Message a mile high.

Pub Date: Sept. 23rd, 1977
Publisher: Random House