Maureen is pregnant and her husband Eddie is missing. Nervous, Maureen shares a couple of drinks with neighbor Kiefer, who tries to rape her and then beats her. When Eddie returns and finds... See full summary »
Richard and Priscilla Parker's lives take a turn for the better when Eddy and Kay move into the house next door. Eddy's a risk taker and shows his new neighbours how to enjoy life at the ... See full summary »
Alan J. Pakula
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio,
A newspaper photographer, Jean, researches the lurid and sensational axe murder of two women in 1873 as an editorial tie-in with a brutal modern double murder. She discovers a cache of ... See full summary »
Hurly-burly is an adaptation of David Rabe's well known play about the intersecting lives of several Hollywood players and wannabes whose personal lives threaten to veer into a catastrophe more interesting than anything they're peddling to the studios. Written by
Brilliant writing, marvelous and memorable performances round out the craftsmanship of this film
For many movie fans who truly love the art of film, a good screenplay is the jeweled movement on which marvelous films turn and pivot. They remain with you as memorable experiences, be they like Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove, Gandhi, or The Maltese Falcon. The genre hardly matters; good screen play is an essential in even the action movie. Too bad so much mediocre screen writing abounds when good talent seems so obtainable.
'Hurlyburly' was adapted from the play for the screen by the author. In a word, it is brilliant. The acting is superb in every character, and the casting was perfect. Once again, Sean Penn gives a performance that is indicative of his paramount position as one of the very best actors of his generation a superlative star given any generation.
I can just imagine that this film has made some pretty bad friends in some quarters and in both genders. There is no hiding the fact that this sort of world exists to some extent anywhere a group of hedonistic, single males (or men who think that they are still single) gather to hang out, relax or party. But a viewer will be missing the point if she/he thinks that 's all there is gratuitous, reckless living.
Marshall McLuan's theory of amputation kept occurring to me after watching the film the idea that with each additional machine in our culture we are being cut off from our humanity. This is a psychodrama that does not resort to the unspoken, latent trauma that lurks in the past to trouble our characters. Something in Eddie is more truncated than broken, and although he doesn't know what it is, he is intensely aware that it is causing him despair, loneliness and pain. The drugs maybe both cause and effect. Beyond the pain itself, he is completely unsure about what he thinks he is supposed to feel. Some considerable irony floats around this issue, and to the director's credit it is revealed with cunning grace.
This film demonstrates that amidst all the lowest common denominating crud, American mainstream cinema is occasionally distributing intriguing works of art. This may not be the film to purposely chose on a sad evening of angst and regret, but if you were to catch it at such a moment, the performances might sweep you up, and the film that was a play could beguile you.
I gave it an unequivocal 10 for the same reasons your movie guide gives 5's for the films that I would love to have in my tape and disk library.
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