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.
With only the plan of moving in together after high school, two unusually devious friends seek direction in life. As a mere gag, they respond to a man's newspaper ad for a date, only to find it will greatly complicate their lives.
Having left New Hampshire over excessive demands by the locals, the cast and crew of "The Old Mill" moves their movie shoot to a small town in Vermont. However, they soon discover that The Old Mill burned down in 1960, the star can't keep his pants zipped, the starlet won't take her top off, and the locals aren't quite as easily conned as they appear. Written by
Jon Reeves <email@example.com>
The character of the Fake Judge is credited to "Jerry Graff," which is the name of an unseen character in David Mamet's "Glengarry Glen Ross." A credit for Jerry Graff also appears in three other Mamet-directed movies: "The Spanish Prisoner," "Homicide," and "Things Change," which may make him the George Spelvin of Mamet films. See more »
When Joe White and Annie are in the restaurant and Joe is pondering over how to fix the movie, on the counter in front of him are some yellow note pages. When Annie accidentally hits his sore finger, a close-up of the yellow paper reveals it to be story notes for this actual film, State and Main (2000). See more »
What does he like?
Well, get him something else. We want to get out of this town alive. Get him half a 28-year-old girl. How's my math?
See more »
During the closing credits, after the end of the song, "The Song of the Old Mill," a fictional interviewer speaks to Howie Gold (played by Jonathan Katz) about the song. Gold says the song can no longer be called "The Song of the Old Mill," since the movie's title has been changed from "The Old Mill" to "The Fires of Home." See more »
In the pantheon of David Mamet's films, I'd say State and Main ranks somewhere in the middle, but it's a good middle. The rhythm and pace is more like a sitcom than a feature film, sharply edited and light on its feet and with a sort of whitebread jazz motif loitering in the background, but the cast is certainly above average, and Mamet's screenplay is very charming punctuated with some funny sub-plots and a few very good (maybe even great) one-liners.
The story concerns a film production crew, running out of money, who blows into the quaint provincial town of Waterford, Vermont on a location shoot after getting run out of New Hampshire (for reasons that are very hush-hush). The wellspring of much of the humor is in the byplay between the corruptness of the film people and the "purity" of the locals, who turn out to be as rotten as some of the Hollywood crowd. There are also some hilarious insides on the world of show-biz and film-making (i.e. the associate producer's credit, the product placement for a dot.com in a movie set in the 1800's, the cinematographer who can't get the shot he wants, Sarah Jessica Parker's character who finds religion and won't show her breasts in the film - unless the producers pay her an additional 800 grand).
Mamet is not quite in the Woody Allen class of gagwriting, but he proves to be assured and witty without being too self-consciously clever (as he is in "Heist"). Some favorite lines: "I remember my lines. I just don't remember which order they come in."; "You don't like children, do you?" "Never saw the point of 'em."; and, of course "Whatever happened to 1975?"
William H. Macy gives a good funny performance as the wheeler-dealer director (as good as his work in "Fargo" or "The Cooler"), and Philip Seymour Hoffman and Rebecca Pidgeon are wonderful as the would-be lovers. This is a not great, but a good middlebrow satire of different worlds, very pleasant and expertly written, though just not savage enough to be brutally memorable. 3 *** out of 4
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