This romantic comedy is an excellent time to do other things, like chat with friends, paint pictures, file papers, or snooze. Holly Hunter's divorced, 40-something head is the setting for this tale of independence and love. She has been away from her husband, Martin Donovan for some time but is still smarting. Donovan, a typically brilliant actor in Hal Hartley's films (all over which receive 10 stars or very near), is played here for his scary, menacing look. His acting ability has as much room to breathe as a size 44 madman in a size 28 straightjacket. Hunter, who has her moments, doesn't seem to manage to squeeze any in here amid her characters hugely personal experiences. The universality of divorced, 40-something women's reality dominates this film. I managed to prepare two postcards for a mail art exhibit that my friend Katina is curating.
Danny DeVito also stars as a lovable ne'er-do-well, now working as the doorman at Hunter's appartment. The writer of this film, whose name I completely and utterly forget, heavily backstories DeVito in an effort to make something substantial of him. I couldn't help but recall, with every gooey line he delivered, that the fat man is co-owner of Tribeca Films and about as rich as anybody needs to be; he isn't a down-on-his-luck elevator man. Nope. Nope. Nope. Mrs. Worsted, on the other hand, thought he played the part okay, but couldn't get over the fact that he is and has always been a considerably unattractive man. To the movie's credit, Hunter does not fall in love with DeVito. That would be stretching it too far.
But the dance number during Holly's tame-to-the-point-of-pointless visit to a lesbian bar is too far too be believed. The film maker wants us to remember that parts of this film occur in the mind of Holly, but even still, the choreographed, slo-mo Fly Girl routine is only laughable in its stuck-up languishment. A great, big, snazzy FEH! Again, I think of Hal Hartley, whose film Surviving Desire includes one of the most surprising yet subtle dance pieces I've ever seen in the movie. It's woven seamlessly into the story, so that the viewer receives narration through movement as well as an infusion of interest in the characters and their situation. That's a movie worth seeing! 10 stars!
Queen Latifah is also in Living Out Loud, and that's just fine
and dandy. Miss this one and you may never find time to call your distant
©1999 by Randy Shandis Enterprises. All rights happily reserved.