I saw this at SIFF (Seattle International Film Festival) and it was brilliant. I saw it later on TV and it was awful. WHY? Why would they take a fabulous show and take away everything that made it memorable? I just don't understand! The version I loved started with a voice-over (JB) describing it as a fairy tale about a giant (opening shot of Beatty's feet dwarfing skyscrapers as he treads through a miniature city, pulling back to establish perspective), a wicked queen (the nasty office gossip), and a princess (the lovely Belinda Bauer, not living in the real world at all). This metaphor was maintained throughout, and it worked! When he makes the decision to become two people, his own bland persona ("We met on my Junior Year Abroad and got married because people thought we looked good together.") and a wicked, dangerous, *attractive* alter ego with a scar and a limp, the change in the reactions he elicits are amazing.
Watching the scam take shape, I wasn't sure until it was over just how he was going to pull it off, but he did, and I was more than willing to believe that they lived happily ever after. The fairy tale metaphor holds the film together.
The version I saw on TV was unrecognizable. They'd completely eliminated the fairy tale frame, making it an implausible scam without sufficient skeletal structure to allow it to stand upright.
The film festival edit was one of the most fun films I've ever seen. The TV edit was ghastly. Why did Richert let them do it????? At the Q&A session at SIFF, he was talking about the difficulties making this film and "Winter Kills", and I suggested he walk with a limp. Who knows...it might have helped. It worked for Jeff Bridges!
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