State and Main
It had some cute quips, but the actors are actually so much better
than the words they were given. Sadly, the whole thing came out flat.
Many of the jokes were written in Hollywood lingo or "in the
know" style. If you have a vast knowledge of the idiosyncrasies
of Hollywood you'll get ten-fold more laughter here. If you don't,
you may want to read You'll Never Lunch in this Town Again,
see a well-done, hilarious movie with similar top-secret hush-hush
Hollywood info The Player, or hang at a trendy LA eatery for
a week or two and eaves drop as a prerequisite to State and Main.
Then it has what can only be called the kiss of death for a
movie these days - Alec Baldwin. Poor guy. He's porked out, sure,
but retina shock aside the guy's a great actor. It's like he's got
some thespian curse from John Barrymore on him...Did Baldwin ever
play Hamlet? I wonder...Somehow everything I see him in for
a few years is a poopoo mediocre exercise in film.
State and Main's story goes... Hollywood has descended upon
a sleepy little hickville Vermont hammock. They bring the stars, the
attitude and the excitement so long absent in the town. These "golly-gee"
folks fall over themselves to appease the spurious royalty.
Ha ha. Then one of the crew, well, the scene editor & writer Joseph
Turner White ( Philip Seymour Hoffman Heimer Schmidt), falls for a
local Ann (Rebecca Pidgeon). Ann's so laid-back she seems medically
sedated or in post traumatic shock. Oddly enough, even with this supersized
annoying style of acting, it's Ann who delivers some of the films
funniest lines...If you're familiar with Seymour Hoffman, you may
recall his delivery is ditto very calm and smooth. So when the two
were in one of their many scenes together, I nearly nodded off full-scale
The movie's director and producer Walt Price (an electric William
H Macy Fargo, Pleasantville, etc.) and Marty Rosen (
Larry Fine, oops I mean David Paymer) are positively scene stealers.
wish there had have been more volleying of dialog between or with
these two. They were very very funny. But then the rest was there...
Parker plays the movie's female star, Claire Wellesley. She wants
800,000 to show her titays.
Well they just wont pay it everyone knows her fans come to see
her act...Yeah, right. Walt and Marty wonder what do they do
the film. Yippee.
Oh no! Now what? The movie-in-the-making's leading man, Bob (Baldwin)
Berrenger, has been caught teaching, um, catfish noodling, to a minor?
Hiding the hambone special in the pantry? He's got a hobby that includes
What's that? Turns out the police chief (Clark -rather- handsome-Gregg)
who's busting the actor is also the smitten writer's new semi-comatose
squeeze's ex- fiancee? Ann appears to have dumped the chief for this
movie's writer!!!??? Now, that's a sparkling ACE Hardware©
utility ax to grind. Looks like production is about to be halted...Or
H. Macy is brilliant per usual. He's very different in this...It's
worth it to see his character. But maybe rent, and that's if
you're a fan of his. Don't expect his usual doormat -man-pussyfooting
around character. He's perfection. I'd love to see him in a Christopher
A pet actor,
Clark Gregg, plays the jilted fiance. He was the butch transsexual
step dad in Sebastian Cole. Hopefully we
will see more of him, he's a tall manly man kebab.
Overall, it was
pretty clever, if above too many folks heads at times. Hey, I'm all
for that if it's worth the punchline. But the story just dragged and
had big energetic swells then bam- monotone dullsville-o-rama filler.
And from one of my favorite screenwriters, David Mamet- Glengarry
Glen Ross, The Spanish Prisoner, Wag the Dog etc.-I just expected
A nice roadhouse with some cheap red wine
Alec Baldwin, Charles Durning, Clark Gregg, Philip Seymour Hoffman,
Patti LuPone, William H. Macy, Sarah Jessica Parker, David Paymer,
Rebecca Pidgeon, Ricky Jay, and Jim Frangione.
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