1970s American Beauty
Having run away from her suburban home a year earlier to be with her hippie boyfriend Dennie (Sally Field) decides to return home, showing up late at night having hitch hiked and letting herself in undetected and returning to her old bedroom. As she does so the past comes back to her as her reasons for running away come back to her but she wants to make a go of it. But it is not that easy when her younger sister is following in her hippie footsteps with a drug habit, her parents are unable to understand what she has been through and done that is when they are not arguing plus her hippie boyfriend shows up.
I knew before I watched "Maybe I'll Come Home in the Spring" that it would be a struggle for the simple reason I wasn't even born in 1971 and this is very much a movie for those who experienced the hippie scene of that era whether they were hippies or didn't understand them at the time. It means that for those like me who watch it for the first time now out of era context it is hard going and obviously dated yet kind of interesting. And there is always the added bonus of a young Sally Field who even in this TV movie shows remarkable acting skills.
Now my interpretation of "Maybe I'll Come Home in the Spring" is that it lifts the lid on the real suburban dream, ripping down the white picket fences to show what life is really like. As such we get to see things from Dennie walking into her parent's bedroom and seeing the separate beds that they choose to sleep in to the fact that in private they have no time for each other and they sit uncomfortably in silence as they ear. Throw into the mix of some 70s suburban touches such as a house having intercom in each room and whilst not as in your face as some much later movies which lifted the lid on the real family life it must have ruffled feathers back in the day.
At the same time "Maybe I'll Come Home in the Spring" shows us a representation of the hippie life and whilst I never experienced it I would say this is more of a media stereotypical representation of it. From seeing Dennie and her boyfriend with his guitar on a sun washed hill side to the less than savoury element of scavenging food of tables it is purely a very stereotypical portrayal.
The thing is that Sally Field delivers an effective portrayal which leads the audience to watch the movie even though it is hard work. But as I said that is because whilst "Maybe I'll Come Home in the Spring" is an early movie which lifts the lid on the American family it is very much a movie for those who experienced this back in the early 70s.
What this all boils down to is that "Maybe I'll Come Home in the Spring" is very much a generational movie for those who were teens back in the early 1970s. But despite this it is an interesting movie and as I said must have ruffled feathers at the time for portraying the real American family.