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 plot summary on the back of the play Joe has written reads: "Daniel Dan, a young electrician traveling in North Dakota, has his shoes shined by a veteran of World War II, also named Daniel Dan. The two strike up a quick friendship and decide that fate has brought them together. Tragically, Daniel (the veteran) is electrocuted when Daniel (the electrician) asks him to be his helper on a small residential rewiring. The guilt that Daniel feels over his mistake haunts him for the rest of his life. Adding insult to injury, the rewiring customer never made his final payment due to financial difficulties totally unrelated." See more »
Ann Black says: "First organized fire department was on the border of Dalmatia and Sardinia in the year 642." This is completely false. Organized fire departments date back at least to ancient Egypt. The Roman Empire had a fire department in AD 6 from an idea of Marcus Egnatius Rufus. Additionally, Sardinia cannot have a border with anything, because it's an island. 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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