As the extremely withdrawn Don Johnston is dumped by his latest woman, he receives an anonymous letter from a former lover informing him that he has a son who may be looking for him. A freelance sleuth neighbor moves Don to embark on a cross-country search for his old flames in search of answers.
An English Professor tries to deal with his wife leaving him, the arrival of his editor who has been waiting for his book for seven years, and the various problems that his friends and associates involve him in.
New Yorkers Ouisa and Flan Kittredge are upper class private art dealers, pretentious but compassionate. Their prized possession is a double sided Kandinsky, one side that represents control, the other side chaos. They relay a story to their friends and acquaintances that over time becomes legendary. It is their encounter with a young black man who they had never met or heard of but who comes stumbling upon their front door one evening as they are courting an important investor, Geoffrey Miller, who could make them wealthy beyond what they could have dreamed. That black man is Paul Poitier, who has just arrived in the city, was just mugged outside their building and is sporting a minor knife wound to the abdomen. He is a friend of the Kittredge's children, who are attending Harvard, but more importantly is the son of actor/director Sidney Poitier. Tomorrow, Paul is meeting up with his father who is in town directing a movie of "Cats". Beyond the attraction of talking Paul into getting... Written by
The inspiration for Paul, David Hampton, died of AIDS on 18 July 2003. See more »
Paul's position when talking about the huskey statue changes between shots. See more »
Is anything gone?
How can I look, I'm shaking!
I want to know if anything's gone!
We could have been killed! Oh, my God! The Kandinsky!
It's gone, oh my God! Call the police!
Oh, no, there it is. Oh! The silver Victorian inkwell!
[...] See more »
I saw Stockard Channing do this play on Broadway, and it remains one of the best theater experiences ever. It's really the story of her character Ouisa gradually seeing that her life is just pretty surfaces, and in meeting this young con-man with whom she makes an intense emotional connection, that she wants more than her marriage, her friends, her life. The dialogue goes like the wind and you barely get a chance to catch your breath; some of the dialogue is spoken as a soliloquy. It's John Guare's mastery of the language at its best, better than "The House of Blue Leaves." I'm much more of a movie person than a theater person, but this play really sang.
Unfortunately the translation to film is only partially successful. Whereas the play is a spoken confessional of Oiusa Kitteridge, the movie emphasizes Paul (Will Smith). Smith does a good-to-great job with this character. The transition from a verbal to a visual medium robs the language of much of its power, and rather than re-write it as a movie, it's sort of a 'half-transition,' which doesn't really please anyone. The other problem I had with it was Donald Sutherland; who wasn't half-bad. But John Cunningham, who played the role on Broadway, was sharper, harder, a GAMBLER...Sutherland just comes across as a nice guy that gets a bit upset that he's been conned. And the emotional blow that comes at the end of the play when you realize that Oiusa's perfect marriage is falling apart just doesn't come across.
Still fascinating for its premise and worth a look; even this watered-down version never fails to entertain.
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