Alma Mater | Chicago Reader

Alma Mater

Hans Canosa's heavy-handed 2002 drama, set at Harvard in the autumn of 1963, features Will Lyman as an emotionally repressed English professor who engages in a secret affair with a male teaching assistant while his long-suffering wife pleads for greater intimacy. After she mistakenly concludes that he's sleeping with a female student, the wife finds refuge in her obsession with Jackie Kennedy, getting a complete makeover in the first lady's image, to everyone's horror. Various subplots involve student romance and a Jewish kid's attempt to crack an exclusive fraternity, but long before the denouement arrived (on the day JFK is murdered, no less), I kept wishing that John Waters had presided over this hunk of ripe cheese. 79 min.

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