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Nick Hart is a struggling American artist who lives amongst the expatriate community in 1920s Paris. He spends most of his time drinking and socializing in local cafés and pestering gallery... See full summary »
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Jennifer Jason Leigh,
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Lesley Ann Warren
Dorothy Parker remembers the heyday of the Algonquin Round Table, a circle of friends whose barbed wit, like hers, was fueled by alcohol and flirted with despair. Written by
I am a fan of many of the writers who flit in and out of this movie, but I confess I don't know much about their personal lives and habits (except perhaps for Benchley, and Thurber who is only barely mentioned in this film). This film gives the viewer a good sense of what it must have been like to be part of the wildly creative crew that surrounded the legendary Algonquin Round Table, but a very confused picture of Dorothy Parker's life. Only someone who already knows her story, and can keep her various husbands and lovers in order, can piece this mish-mash together. And none of the performers are strong enough to seem like anything more than walk-ons dressed as famous people. (The "gang" scenes work because of the fast pacing; the movie drags when we spend time with the individuals.) According to comments recorded here, Miss Leigh is doing a good vocal impression of Dorothy Parker. Maybe so (I've never heard Parker), but Leigh's delivery is so totally annoying that it's enough to drive the AUDIENCE to suicide. Is she trying to do Hepburn on downers? Sometimes her mannered accent veers toward Transylvanian.
Throughout the movie, Parker herself denigrates her little "doodad" poems, but that's all the film offers us of her creative output. We never really find out about the contents of her books and plays, and how she ended up in Hollywood (and what she wrote there). After a few of her doggerel verses, they become trite. I began to wonder if people think these poems are funny because they know they're SUPPOSED to be funny.
I'm sure there's probably a good movie in Mrs. Parker's life, but I don't think this is it.
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