It's the end of the 70s. Hippies are assimilating, women are raising their consciousness, and men are becoming confused and ineffectual. Don't expect to be able to keep track of all the ... See full summary »
There has always been a thin line between society and the media, and struggling TV-news reporter Roseanne Crystal is about to cross it. She travels to the quiet town of Rhinebeck, New York ... See full summary »
Director Johan Grimonprez casts Alfred Hitchcock as a paranoid history professor, unwittingly caught up in a double take on the cold war period. Subverting a meticulous array of TV footage ... See full summary »
Reporter J.J. Dalton wants to write a story about a grueling 3000 km auto rally through Africa. When her deal to ride with a driver falls through, she hires ex-stuntman Eddie Miles, who is ... See full summary »
Cleveland 1951. Pre-med student Artie Shoemaker dreams not so much of a medical career but a life in the theater, against the wishes of his working class parents. Despite having no ... See full summary »
Wife is cheating her husband and the husband is cheating her back with her lover's girlfriend. The two cheating couples decide to go to a resort but they unintentionally pick the same one. Hilarity ensues.
This puber-comedy is a kind of mixture between 'Animal House' and 'Police Academy'. Four boys are sent, for different reasons, to a the Sheldon R. Wienberg military academy. The life of ... See full summary »
Mike Hagan is a pilot in passenger service and candidate for the honor "Best Pilot of the Year". Nobody knows that he's got private sorrows - he's an alcoholic. A stewardess notices his ... See full summary »
Tony Zonis wants to write the next great suspense thriller, so he decides to study the work of master crime writer, Willard Hope. Together, they pick through newspaper stories, looking for ... See full summary »
It's the end of the 70s. Hippies are assimilating, women are raising their consciousness, and men are becoming confused and ineffectual. Don't expect to be able to keep track of all the names or who's sleeping with who; the picture very skillfully conveys the hopeless muddle through which the many characters move as they try to Find Themselves. Written by
Molly Malloy <email@example.com>
I think it's wonderful that Martha and Bill have a marriage contract that spells out everything. I wish we had a contract.
You mean like who takes out the garbage? That kind of everything?
Every kind of everything. How often, who starts it, everything.
You mean nookie?
Sexual responsibilities are covered, yes.
He means Nookie!
Oh, Sam, for god's sake.
Where do I sign? It's gotta be better than my present deal.
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A film with great potential that doesn't live up to it
"Serial" is a fairly good movie that instead could have been great. From the very beginning of the movie and the sappy and straightforward opening theme song, it's clear that the director opted not to capture the subtleties and sharp satire of Cyra McFadden's brilliant novel, but rather to paint a much broader and sitcom-ish picture.
From a commercial standpoint, this wasn't necessarily a bad decision (though the film wasn't much of a hit): the novel was very much about a specific place, Marin County, with tons of inside references, and a movie as slavish with the insider details as the novel was wouldn't have played very well at all outside of the Bay Area.
Still, the end result is disappointing. Not as disappointing as, say, the movie version of "Bonfire of the Vanities," but nonetheless along the same lines: a satirical page-turner brought to the screen without its sharpness and full potential. The dialogue feels forced at times, and we never get a clear enough sense of the characters to invest our full interest in them. I'd argue that some of the casting and direction was off the mark: Bill Macy, as great as he was on "Maude," isn't right for this film, for example.
As someone who was a young child in late-1970s Marin County, I wish there were a film that truly captures the quirkiness (some would say craziness) of that place and time. "Serial" tries, but doesn't quite get it right.
As a side note: Although Cyra McFadden's novel "The Serial" is out of print in the US, there's a pretty-recently-reissued UK edition that contains a really interesting forward from McFadden. Diehard fans of the book should check it out. Easier to order than you might think, through amazon.co.uk.
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