Eleanor lives with the artist Stash. Just like his artist friends, he is completely unknown but is waiting for the big break. Stash is mean to her and finally she leaves him. Ironically, ...
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Eleanor lives with the artist Stash. Just like his artist friends, he is completely unknown but is waiting for the big break. Stash is mean to her and finally she leaves him. Ironically, she gets her big break - as a hat designer.Written by
It can't be easy to bring a Tama Janowitz novel to the screen. Her characters are strange and chronically flawed. Her plots progress like real life -- loosely, with lots of extraneous details and false starts -- yet contain a lot of wacky situations which we have trouble relating to reality (until we really think about it, and realize it's weird because it REALLY HAPPENS, everyday). I love her sense of humour and her style of writing, especially since her novels don't follow a traditional form of plot development.
That said, this movie could have been better. I don't think that the split-screen presentation of different scenes works at all, and many of the actors don't seem to understand why they're uttering the lines -- I don't think they "get it." Adam Coleman Howard (Stash) struggles valiantly, but always seems one step behind his character. Madeleine Potter (Daria) isn't very convincing either. Bruce Peter Young (Mikell) looks by turns bored and baffled. And -- perhaps the biggest injustice of all -- the knight in shining armour at the end is a terrible actor; instead of being happy and hopeful at the emergence -- finally! -- of a single genuine person in Eleanor's life, I couldn't get beyond his wooden delivery.
Everyone else is great, however. Bernadette Peters seems tailor-made to star in a Janowitz adaptation, as do many of the other oddball characters (Wilfredo, Mooshka, Samantha, the Japanese film crew). Things pick up in the second half, and it certainly gets funnier as it goes along...Eleanor mentions a dream she had the other night about a baby with long arms and legs like a chimpanzee, "but it was cute." The party (and the blender) is a blast. After so long in more-or-less quiet neutral, the last half hour kicks into gear.
Some people mentioned, "how could Eleanor put up with Stash?" Well, look around, sadly...there are lots of Eleanors and lots of Stash's (people who are "abridged" like their "tentacles have been cut off at the wrist"). As for the odd artsy SoHo characters...compare this film to "Mondo New York" and see that, if anything, Janowitz has missed out on a few bizarre and self-indulgent art types.
Don't expect to be on the edge of your seat when you watch this one. Just sit back, enjoy, and take it for what it is: an expose on the New York art world in the 80's, and an examination of one woman attempting to deal with a city full of shallow, uncaring, jealous and stupid people.
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