Kevin Spacey, Sean Penn, Robin Wright Penn, Meg Ryan, Chazz Palminteri,
Directed by: Anthony Drazen
Written by: David Rabe
Line Features is proving to be quite a little powerhouse of independent/large
name films. Hurlyburly, follows through with their theme
of, "Not for the masses, but look who we got to star in
it anyway!" films.
was an Off-Broadway sensation in the eighties. Though edited down
slightly for the screen, it is still a voyeurs dream; spying on
what real nasty little boys get up to late at night with a little
freedom, some weed, and a coupla grams. It's a kind of at home
with Swimming with Sharks (another Spacey
delight) but there are four Buddy Akermans and we get to
spend a couple of years with them. They are not nice, but don't
seem to care.
conversations are fabulousand endless. Remember how
extroverted and insightful you got when you were riding that "white
train" of thought? Cocaine can make you so concerned about
the secrets of the universe and unraveling the mysteries of life,
when in reality you could barely tie your shoes you were so high?
Oh, those nights of endless circuitous yammering, when you thought
you absolutely could teach Einstein a thing or two. Er...uh...so
I have heard tell.
Penn is astoundingly believable. Penn plays Eddie a motor-mouthed,
self-absorbed, sinisterly mustachioed, wretched soul casting agent
who fears he cant feel love. Sad really.
But, writer David Rabe keeps him just gross enough so you really
can't feel bad for him. If this was Sandra Bullock, the audience
would have been crying every other scene "poor kid"
and "thats awful" and such. Eddie even while oozing
his soul, is thinking about oral sex. Pay close attention to his
verbal diarrhea as it is quite funny and often riddled with borderline
intellectwell, cocaine style intellectfast and frenzied
(I clocked his jaw doin 90 mph).
"Does this haircut make my face look big?" Spacey
is Eddies sauve "best friend" and business partner,
quite a piece of work. One eye perpetually roaming the tundra
for his next sexual conquest, the other plays nurse maid to dear
Eddie ,who has almost a spouse-like attachment to him. The character
of Mickey scared me. As rude and crass as he was in privatehe
was equally as sexual and jumpable in public (note to self: beware
of smooth talking well dressed Spacey-like gents...nah...be real
I'd do him in a nanosecond).
Palminteri is Phil. Phil's a violent, delusional loser dude. We
all know him. A dreamer without a clue. A man with nothing really
to say. Eddie keeps him around to feel superior in his little
fishbowl life. Chazz is another exceptional actor. Rent anything
with his nameyou'll like it. (Okay maybe not that
hideous Sly Stallone 'comedy' about the mob...can't think of the
name. Forgive Chazz. He really is tremendously talented) He positively
shines in this!
Shandling blew me away. His character, Arty, was so Hollywood.
Calm and slithering. Clueless to his immoral ways. Shandling is
a natural. He really held his own with Penn in a particularly
great confrontation through a glass table. Kudos to cinematographer
Changwei Gu for nailing this scene's integrity. I really hope
to see more of the '"serious actor" Garry Shandling.
"Chickbabe Squared" Wright Penn as Darlene, was perfectly
authentic as Eddie's main squeeze and conquest of Mickey. Ok,
she sleeps with Eddie and Mickey; but if Mickey looked like Spacey,
who could resist? Who I ask ya? And besides, its
Hollywood. Nough said?
- great hair- Ryan finally sheds her Miss Nicey Nice demeanor.
Don't expect the usual apple pie performance here. She's a "friend"
of Eddies who comin by to play wit da boys...literally.
Paquin is a scene stealer. Wow! She was awesome as a runaway without
the chance of even getting a menial job. You quickly adjust to
the fact she's just a lost soul and Artie (Shandling) the peddling
pedophile, who wants her to walk his dogs, seems like an odd savior.
is a lot of fun. No huge plot, just a chance to see one of the
finest conversational films ever made, performed by a few of the
finest actors in Hollywood. True HB would not have been
so intriguing if it were not for these stellar people. But lucky
for all of us IT WAS.
recommendation: Week-old Hostess Sno-balls, curlded milk,