Used People (1992)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5

USA/Japan, 1992.  JVC Entertainment Networks, Largo Entertainment.  Screenplay by , based on his plays The Grandma Plays.  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Cinematography by David Watkin.  

Delightful romantic comedy by Beeban Kidron, about love among the senior set. On the day of her husband’s funeral, Shirley MacLaine is approached by an old acquaintance (Marcello Mastroianni in his first English-language role) who announces that he has been in love with her for decades and is now finally free to tell her. A bit taken aback by his gall, MacLaine decides against all better advice to go out on a date with him anyway. Kathy Bates has an excellent supporting turn as MacLaine’s frustrated daughter, but the real moments of brilliance come from a terrific Marcia Gay Harden as MacLaine’s younger girl, who takes out her unhappiness in life by dressing up as a different movie star every day. The part is at first very comical, but eventually we get a good glimpse into the sorrow beneath it, and Harden is terrific every step of the way. This enjoyable comedy also stars Jessica Tandy and Sylvia Sidney.

Golden Globe Award Nominations:  Best Actor-Musical/Comedy (Marcello Mastroianni); Best Actress-Musical/Comedy (Shirley MacLaine)

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