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|Index||11 reviews in total|
One has to feel that Jay Sandrich, as director, has to be responsible
for the weak performances from this collection of usually reliable
actors. With the exception of Michael Richards and Madeline Kahn, the
credited actors turn in truly shocking performances. As for the
Scottish and Irish accents from Richard Mulligan, Paxton Whitehead and
Jane Carr, words fail me. These are trained actors?
Thankfully, the uncredited William Franklin, was, as ever, the consummate professional. If he watched the rushes, he probably requested to be left off the credit list.
How Simon must have shuddered.
I loved everything about this movie: the cast, the story and most of all
fact I never heard of it before and I did not know anything about it prior
to watching it. And it was such a wonderful surprise! Generally, I love the
humour that's based on intelligence, not stupidity (however harmless), and
this movie is a fine example of that.
The idea of clash of cultures and classical example of it in the situation of American dropped in Europe has been perfectly handled here. In its basic, the idea is similar to the one of "National Lampoon's Vegas Vacation", but it is completely different kind of humour. Much more subtle, and very, very effective. Only a few funny situations are based on clumsiness; the rest of the it is based on funny and intelligent script which doesn't offer noisy action on the screen, but hilarious and joyful laugh!
I loved Julia Louis-Dreyfus, she was just brilliant as a confused American bride who found herself in London hotel with no luggage and no husband! Everything, from her confusion with English language to the perfect onion she'd lost to the sleeves on her party clothes she had no time to shorten was so funny. Only really talented actors can act the overacting itself as she did.
My favourite scene was the one between Diane and Sydney in her hotel room when she realises the real truth about his arrival to London. In just a few sentences one sees such an unbelievable span of emotions, particularly the purity of love Diane has for her ex-husband, all spiced with so much laugh. I felt sorry and cried when the truth was revealed, but at the same time laughed to the way they reacted in that situation. Just brilliant!
Without a second thought this movie became one of my all time favourites.
Given the enormous comedic talent involved, this was rather
disappointing. The most successful comedic playwright since
Shakespeare, Neil Simon, has half a dozen of the most popular American
comedians of the 1990's in this 1996 production. The director, Jay
Sandwich, was the main director of the two most popular American
television shows of the 1970's and 1980's (the Mary Tyler Moore Show
and the Bill Cosby Show).
Neil Simon always mixes together four or five plots and keeps them moving briskly. In this case three of his four separate plots go nowhere. Only one pays off.
The successful plot involves Sidney (Kelsey Grammar) and Diana (Patricia Clarkson). Diana is a successful television star hoping to revive her marriage to Sidney that broke up eight years previously. Sidney has been living as a gay man on the Greek island of Mikonos for those eight years and has come to meet Diana for an entirely different reason. The performances here are subtle, sharp, sensitive and sweet.
Julia Louise Dreyfus and Johnathan Silverman try to work a plot about a newlywed who loses her husband at the airport. Dreyfus is pure slapstick, twisting,turning and rolling her eyes to simulate her hysteria at losing her husband. Silverman arrives too late and is too laid-back to improve things. At one point Dreyfus is supposed to be drunk and says to a waiter, "I'm drunk, can't you tell?" In fact, she acts drunk throughout, so it is hard to tell.
Michel Richards and Julie Haggardy do more mainly physical slapstick as a man with a bad back and a wife who loses her husband's Wimbledon tickets. This seems to go back to television sketch comedy of the 1950's. One could imagine Sid Caesar or Milton Berle wringing the same laughs from the material. Richards is in his element with the physical comedy, so there are a few laughs here. Brits, Paxton Whitehead and Jane Carr brighten up this episode.
Madeline Kahn and Richard Mulligan go on a mismatched date which leads nowhere. It reminded me of the old television show "Love American Style". There are a few faint smiles but no laughs here.
I would say, if you're a Neil Simon fan, see it for the wonderful acting of Kelsey Grammar and Patricia Clarkson, but don't expect anything from the other stories. As a whole, it is sub-par Neil Simon, but at least 25% of it is solid Neil Simon at his best
Ironically, I was in London in 1996 for a few days in the summer. When this film aired on television, I was excited. It had a great cast but when it came to air. It was embarrassing to watch. This is one of Neil Simon's weakest stories. I am sure he could have come up with something better and interesting to entertain us. I felt embarrassed for the great cast like Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Jonathan Silverman. They had a crazy story. I was surprised by Rolf Saxon who I love playing Julia's brother-in-law living in London with his wife. You could see they were trying so hard for the audience. Despite Rolf's brief appearance, he goes uncredited and that's an outrage for me. I liked watching Madeline Kahn and Richard Mulligan but felt it was too awkward. The worst was Patricia Clarkson, Kristen Johnson, and Kelsey Grammar. I am sorry but it was so hard to watch them. I liked Michael Richards and Julie Hagerty together but felt that they could have used a better story. I liked the brief appearance of British actress, Janine Duvitsky.
European and American characters intermingle in London for comedic Neil Simon stories underlined with pathos or sentiment. Simon's somewhat-withered adaptation of his play is seemingly an extension of many ideas or characters from his theatrical feature "California Suite"...and one that is not above copping ideas from other movies as well. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is an American on her honeymoon without a husband; Madeline Kahn is another tourist who goes out on a date with Scotsman Richard Mulligan (dressed up like David Niven in "Separate Tables"); Michael Richards and Julie Hagerty, in town for Wimbledon, are sidelined by slapstick-y bad luck; while actress Patricia Clarkson reunites with the ex-husband she still holds a torch for, Kelsey Grammar (playing gay). Simon's rhythm hasn't changed over the years: he sets up a joke wryly, detonates the joke dryly, and then delivers a comeback zinger. The whole movie is a series of zingers, most of which are met with stony silence (this is one sitcom that could use a laugh-track). Apparently cast with an eye on the NBC-TV market, the picture could really use some headier talent (Clarkson does well, though the supporting cast making up the staff get the biggest laughs). Louis-Dreyfus has an amusing bit telling a lie which gets bigger and bigger, and Richards' pinched nerve (while an easy target for visual jokes) has some funny repercussions. The TV production is rather cut-rate (as is the score and photography), however it's a relatively painless comedy--albeit one that is passed its prime.
This t v made production has a cast of lots of talent, but no script
and sequencing which makes little sense. If there are any entertainment
values in this, it is if you want to see a cast member & a little
cheeky British humor.
Michael Richards is a good physical comedian. This film takes him & disables him after the first sequences with a bad back. That pretty much sets the mood for the abuse that the script makes of the cast. Kelsey Grammar is a good verbal comedian- so have him somber because he has an incurable disease.
The only near chuckles in this a a couple of cheeky sequences in Richards room after he is prone with the bad back. Other than that, this film has little to offer. Interestingly there is a sequence in front of a building in London when a bus with a banner about a US state, Pennsy. drives in front of the building on the street. That makes me wonder if that was deliberate, or did they do some back drop filming in the US?
i actually liked it...from several reasons.
one, the wonderful cast in the film: julia louie, michael r, richard m,
kelsey and more...a great story which collects number of
it's not a humor comedy it's more like a comedy about life and some
misunderstanding in life...it is quite funny and i recommend it to all
people. it's nice to view some simple stories about life and all the
things in life we have and sometimes we wish we haven't done or passed
vote: 7 out of 10
The most important thing i can say now about London Suite is that, as a
comedy, it's supposed to make you laugh. Well it didn't even make me
Not only once. Not even smile.
And with that i say it all.
I mean be serious! Is that humour?? No way! Every assumed gag is pointless
and stupid, the actors play horrible, and that's not all.
The worse thing is that it's not original. The idea looks a lot like Four
Rooms. The same thing: 4 totally different stories, that happen in the
hotel. Only that in 4R they're presented one by one, and here they are all
together. And in 4R they had something connecting them, and here they
And in 4R there was the genial Quentin Tarantino on board, here it's a
of talentless crew that manages to create one of the worst movies i've
Although the cast seemed promising: Elaine and Kramer from Seinfeld,
Johnston from The Third Rock From The Sun, and Kelsey Grammar from Fraser
So if you by any chance have the chance to see this movie, DON'T. Chose anything else, but this one. Otherwise you'll waste 2 hours of your life. And life is too short to be wasted.
Vote: 2 out of 10.
This movie should have been a success. Instead of the director being
the skipper of the good ship Lollipop the all star cast are all stuffed
into a canoe without a paddle. Do yourself a favor. Watch the play
instead. Even less skillful actors with lots of practices and many
plays of London Suite have a better chance of making it work. This is
something that takes a lot of practice and a skilled director that
works hand in hand with the script writer to pull it off.
You would think it would have been a success. It had half the cast of Seinfeld, Kelsey Grammar and others who have had spectacular successes in their careers.
You also have the original play which was written by Neil Simon, the famous playwright Neil Simon. So somebody else must have wrote the television movie script, correct? Wrong. Neil Simon, the famous playwright Neil Simon also wrote the television movie script as well.
The first thing that went wrong is that there were no ties with any of the four stories or at least something that lets you know you are shifting from one to the other. It may work in a play but it gets all tangled up somehow in a movie.
The second thing that went wrong was that the actors are left to fend for themselves. Kelsey Grammar and Patricia Clarkson pull it off but the other three need something to dial them back a bit or just make it work better. I wonder if even a skillful director can pull it off, but they cannot do it without pulling apart all four of the stories and doing them separately and then skillfully weaving them back together. Even though they came up with a conclusion that seemed to tie everything together, it was too late for me. By then the damage had been done.
It's hard to believe this was written by the famous playwright we know and love. Not only does London Suite lack humor, it lacks intelligence. All of the characters are based in stupidity which makes their ensuing plot lines a yawn to watch. The only thing notable about this story is that something so boring and silly could come from the pen of one of our wittiest and most cosmopolitan writers. I suppose there is an audience somewhere that can find entertainment in watching people's ignorance dominate their behavior, but it's not my cup of tea. The real shame is that a talented and eclectic cast of comedic actors was assembled for this un-funny script and it is so very obvious that they are each working very hard to find the essence of their character. No doubt, in the end, they realized they didn't have anything to work with and their futility comes through loud and clear in their delivery and body language. Don't bother with this unless you want to see how even a great writer can go bad.
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