An amazingly dull portrait of self inflicted suffering by very talented characters. One would think that with such a wealth of prose, poetry and wit to draw on, the writers and director could have produced a more entertaining film. Quite disappointing.
I first learned of Dorothy Parker during a public radio program. I am grateful our Johnson County Kansas libraries still have 3 copies. Parker was a good word smith, but the actress who played her mumbled too much with her lines that could not understand her genius. I suppose the actress was trying to follow Parker's speech pattern. She was a loose woman.
Anyone with even a casual interest in literary history knows about the Algonquin Round Table, the famous circle that included Dorothy Parker, James Thurber, Alexander Woollcott, Harpo Marx and Robert Benchley, among others. The extent of what most people know is that they drank a lot and said witty things. I put to you that a bunch of drunks sitting around are bound to laugh at what each other says. Anyway, this film by Alan Rudolph attempts with marginal success to recreate that period. For a film about clever people, it is not particularly clever. Robert Altman produced and his influence can be felt in its loose plot and long scenes of multiple characters conversing. Jennifer Jason Leigh heads the cast as Dorothy Parker and your tolerance for her well depend on how much you like mannered performances. If you did not like her in "The Hudsucker Proxy," from the same period, you will not like her here. The enormous cast also includes Campbell Scott (as Benchley, the love of her life), Matthew Broderick, Lilli Taylor, Andrew McCarthy, Wallace Shawn and a pre-fame Gwenyth Paltrow. The disc includes a so-so documentary about Parker.
Effective biopic / early-1900s period piece with fine costumes & interiors. Explores the life, times, & foibles of American poet / satirist / screenwriter Dorothy Parker.
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