The Sterile Cuckoo Movie Review Summary

Actors: Liza Minnelli, Wendell Burton

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Sterile Cuckoo

Two students, a reserved young man and a quirky young woman, pursue a romantic relationship. Jerry, a shy young man, waits for a bus to go to his college in upstate New York. It is there that he meets Pookie, a quirky young woman who goes to a close-by college. He is at first utterly confused by her strange behavior -- she seems to do things simply to get attention, for unexplained reasons. However, he is intrigued by her. Later, Pookie tracks Wendell down at his college in order to pursue him further. From here, their odd acquaintanceship evolves into a romance. Though clearly in love, their personalities clash greatly, him being more reserved and she outlandish. This is highlighted greatly in the way that they handle a major conflict as a couple when Pookie believes she is pregnant. This turns out to be merely a scare, but Jerry pulls away from Pookie, stating that he wants to go on spring break by himself. When she begs to go along, he eventually relents, but Pookie's instability in their time together makes it more and more apparent that they are too different and that their relationship is perhaps unhealthy. Pookie eventually drops out of school, and Jerry insists that she goes home. It is when she gets on the bus, at the same place where they first met, that their relationship officially ends for good.
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Best part of story, including ending: I thought this movie was really interesting in terms of watching the dynamics of the two characters' relationship develop. They are such opposites, yet the audience can still see why they are drawn to each other. I also think that Liza Minnelli did a great job as Pookie.

Best scene in story: I think the first scene, where Jerry first meets Pookie, is really strong. She is so unusual that we understand right away what kind of person she is, but she has a certain charm that makes her likable right from the beginning. Seeing Jerry react to her mirrors the audience's reaction in many ways, and seeing them interact in these first moments on the bus makes for a strong memory in the audience's mind when the end scene seems to suggest it again as Pookie leaves just as she entered at this location.

Opinion about the main character: Jerry, the main character, is relatable and definitely serves as a "surrogate" for the audience -- we understand why he is intrigued by Pookie, but also eventually understand his logic when he decides to end the relationship. He works well as a character to give some perspective to the at-times odd storyline, and to keep the film grounded in the truth about the evolution (and de-evolution) of all romantic relationships over time.

The review of this Movie prepared by Caroline Fraissinet a Level 1 Blue Jay scholar

Script Analysis of The Sterile Cuckoo

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of movie:    -   1960's-1970's Romance/Love/Hugging    -   Yes Kind of romance:    -   Unprepared for birthing/child rearing Lover is...    -   socially awkward

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   student Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast Misc setting    -   school

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   no torture/death Sex/nudity in movie?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only    -   kissing Any profanity?    -   Occasional swearing Is this movie based on a    -   book

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