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Monday, May 26, 2008

MRS. PARKER AND THE VICIOUS CIRCLE (1994)

Slack bio-pic from Alan Rudolph about Dorothy Parker and the wits of The Algonquin Round Table sports a properly stellar cast (Campbell Scott & an uncommonly handsome Matthew Broderick are standouts amongst Stanley Tucci, Andrew McCarthy, Lili Taylor, Martha Plimpton, Peter Gallagher, Sam Robards, a Baldwin brother, et al) and a career stopping, insufferable star turn from Jennifer Jason Leigh as Parker. Lots of period details seem just right, but Rudolph follows orthodox thinking that labels the group as heavy drinking underachievers who never lived up to their promise. Heavy drinking overachievers who out performed their natural talents might be closer to the mark. And might make for a more entertaining, witty, unexpectedly tart & smart pic. Kinda like an Algonquin Round table luncheon. Extra demerits for not bringing up the Sacco & Vanzetti controversy, miss that and you you miss the crux of Parker’s self-critical distancing from her friends and her own talent.

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