Wonderful, Whit Stillman movies are usually an acquired taste. This and Last Days of disco are his most accessible films to begin with. As each film seems to bring him more into the mainstream. This is a slight but cute film that plays like a modern screwball comedy more comedy in dialogue then physical comedy. While the dialogue is very hyper literate. It is a film that is easy to identify with. IT even manages to mix in some sophisticated Musical numbers which aren’t as jarring as you would expect, but actually fit into the mood and atmosphere of the film seamlessly. It’s just a good old fashioned time at the cinema.
Watching a Whit Stillman film is like going to a foreign film where half of the enjoyment of watching the film is discovering and being immersed in the foreign locale and culture. Usually prompting fascination in visiting the locale or studying the culture.
When it comes to Stillman films. It’s like that for me. Learning and observing not only wasp culture but white collar, privileged, hyper literate intelligence. It’s a culture I would like to be immersed in and visit, but I never can so all I have is his films and films of this type.
Coming back after an absence of 13 years with me and others patiently waiting wandering if he would ever make another one. I saw his last film THE LAST DAYS OF DISCO in the theater the $2 dollar theater to be exact. I saw bits and pieces of his other films METROPOLITAN and BARCELONA over the years but it wasn’t until 2 years ago that I finally sat down and watched the both of them in full. Both of those films fully from beginning to end and found myself charmed by them. Full of characters and conversations more than plot. I was never bored and found the conversations fascinating as well as the personal philosophy of the characters. That’s the beauty of his films. He is an auteur a stylist with a more subtle low key style.
Adam Brody brings a leading man charm and fits right in and is a delight every time he is on screen. Analeigh Tipton is the more realistic character with a modern view and comes off quite lovely. , Megalyn Echikunwoke is hilarious as the beautiful comic relief as well as the most reserved member of the group,
This is one of the first times I have really enjoyed Greta Gerwig as an actress completely. She is obviously talented but here she comes off as a revelation.
Though as the film has a timeless air and quality. It even introduces a popular dance song from the 90’s and a character refers to it as a golden oldie. Which is the way o believe the film wants to be? Since golden oldies are always popular and remembered with a fondness of experiences associated with it. The film never identifies a year or time that it takes place in so no matter when it’s watched the film will most likely always be timeless.
I also must say this film should serve as a lesson to Wispy film directors. Who are supposedly so open minded and operate and film primarily out of New York. (and other major cities and states) but rarely if ever have minority characters or roles. This film not only has a supporting minority character but a lead minority character. Neither of whom are villians. It also has minorities sprinkled through the film in speaking and background roles. So please take a Que. It gives me hope for more positive and general portrayals for minorities on screen.
Sure the film has some drawbacks. Some of the characters look way too old for their roles and older than the other characters who are supposed to be their contemporaries. This film is supposed to be about young characters in transition on their way to adulthood.
I can admit the film doesn’t feel as personal and studied as his first two films. This and his last film feel more like he is edging towards the mainstream or at least as mainstream as he can do and still have his singular voice. This Film feels oddly Separate or from a different era. While his previous films definitely felt set at a time and place.
The film seems to give off a philosophy of why young ladies make certain choices and decisions. When it comes to life and heartbreak. It seems to have a more feminine point of view as most of the male characters are either stupid or loathsome. Though there are a few to make the males not seem hopeless. Even lending itself to the girls way of thinking when it comes to one of the male characters giving a bit of credence to their coda which sounds ridiculous and absurd at first.
While there are plenty of emotions on display the film is hard to take seriously. It has a light as air fluff to it. I will admit the film isn’t for everyone, but if it sounds like your type it is more than worthy of your attention.
Definitely Worth Seeing as soon as possible.