Irvin Kershner “seemed amused when I told him that, when I first saw Loving back when I was in college, I really didn’t care much for it because I couldn’t relate to its melancholy story about a guy who was beginning to worry that he’d taken a wrong turn somewhere in his career – and, worse, in his life – and worried whether it was already too late to turn back,” Moving Picture Blog‘s Joe Leydon wrote yesterday.

“But when I watched the movie again 15 years later — and this is the part that Kershner really enjoyed hearing — it was much, much easier for me to relate to the lead character, and to appreciate the spot-on accuracy of the movie’s insightful observations. I probably should take another look at Loving – if only to salute Kershner – but, frankly, I’m afraid I now might find it even more relevant.”

Loving is a film close to my past life, in a sense. It’s set in the commuting world between Manhattan and Westport, Connecticut, which I knew from having gone to high school in nearby Wilton and lived in Westport in ’76 and ’77.

George Segal and Eva Marie Saint played a married couple. It also featured Sterling Hayden, David Doyle, Keenan Wynn, Roy Scheider and future 20th Century Fox president Sherry Lansing.

Segal plays a successful art-director ad guy who feels he may have made a mistake in opting for marriage, kids and suburban domesticity. He feels creatively trapped, hemmed in. Cold as this sounds, a part of him wants to leave it all and start over again. Partly, you can sense, because Segal is aroused by the socially tumultuous times and, on the cusp of his 40s, he wants to savor the fruits before it’s too late. Loving is famous for its tragically farcical ending with Segal and a friend’s wife getting busted for infidelity by a security video camera during a Westport party. A crowd of revelers (including Saint) are watching the show from the main house.

Leydon calls Loving “quietly devastating” — that’s pretty close to how I feel.