Joe and Mary have been living together in Manhattan for six years. Joe is an actor, who has no agent and no thesping credits, but whose ambitions are very high. He works as a waiter at a ... See full summary »
A suicidally disillusioned liberal politician puts a contract out on himself and takes the opportunity to be bluntly honest with his voters by affecting the rhythms and speech of hip-hop music and culture.
Joe and Mary have been living together in Manhattan for six years. Joe is an actor, who has no agent and no thesping credits, but whose ambitions are very high. He works as a waiter at a cafe. Mary works as a make-up stylist for hot fashion photographer Blair, and she pays most of the pair's bills. Joe finally lowers his standards and accepts a degrading bit in a Madonna video, while his friend and co-waiter Bob gets a high-paying job on a soap opera opposite siren Kelly. Written by
Tom DiCillo is a young director with a strong personal style much reminiscent of some of Hollywood's great directors of the 40's such as Lubitch, Leisen and Sturgess.
Like them his films are light, socially critical and above all reveal a genuine affection for his characters so often lacking in the films of his contemporaries.
This is a world of ruthless superficiality. Appearance is
everything and hence the ultimate prize, a real blonde.
In this world we find Joe (Matthew Modine) and Mary (Catherine Keener), he a somewhat gawky 35 year old struggling actor waiting tables while waiting for his big chance for a real acting role, preferably "Death of a Salesman". But instead there's a role in a Madonna video, the chance of a soap opera part, and maybe a serial killer in the offering.
Mary is a makeup artist for photographic models needing constant attention as well as emotional support in their delusional lives. By night she attends a self defence class to deal with men on the street who see her as a female for their pleasure.
The problems of their survival in such a world, both as individuals as well as a relationship in danger, are dealt with insight and above all affection. In true Hollywood tradition the true values prevail.
Both Matthew Modine and Catherine Keener give marvellous performances and their are some fine cameos from Marlo Thomas, Dennis Leary and Steve Buscemi.
DiCillo is a director to watch and hopefully he will continue to develope and make movies as charming as this one.
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