Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.
USA, 2002. Miramax, Monophonic Inc., Populist Pictures, Propaganda Films, Section Eight. Screenplay by Coleman Hough. Cinematography by Steven Soderbergh. Produced by Gregory Jacobs, Scott Kramer. Music by Jacques Davidovici. Costume Design by Shosahan Rubin. Film Editing by Sarah Flack.
A group of characters spend their day in various complications until they are all (or most of them anyway) united at a Hollywood producer’s birthday party. A neurotic Human Resources manager (Catherine Keener) is ready to leave her magazine-writer husband (David Hyde Pierce) because of her affair with a sexy movie star (Blair Underwood). Her sister (Mary McCormack) is a massage therapist who has a pretty dangerous encounter with the birthday boy (David Duchovny), and is going on a blind date with a playwright (Enrico Colantoni) who has written Underwood’s latest film and is currently producing a play about Hitler (starring Nicky Katt). Meanwhile, we are treated to glimpses of the Duchovny’s latest project, a dry romantic comedy starring Underwood and Julia Roberts, but none of these complications or added layers prevent the film from being a giant bore. The characters are overly familiar when they’re not being annoying, the dialogue is flavourless, and the film that Underwood and Roberts are making seems like it’s about as weak as the one we’re watching. There are a few good performances, particularly the magical Keener and a shockingly hilarious turn by Katt as an actor who really believes in dedication to his craft. Otherwise it’s pretty deadly.