In addition to declaring that Katharine's (Lynn Redgrave) head and heart line are hopelessly fused into one "simian line", eccentric palm reader/fortune-teller Arnita (Tyne Daly) makes a ...
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In addition to declaring that Katharine's (Lynn Redgrave) head and heart line are hopelessly fused into one "simian line", eccentric palm reader/fortune-teller Arnita (Tyne Daly) makes a dire prediction: By the end of the year, one of the couples present at a Halloween party will have broken up. But will it be Katherine and her much-younger boyfriend Rick (Harry Connick Jr.); her upstairs tenants Marta and Billy or new yuppie neighbors Sandra (Cindy Crawford) and Paul? Fueled by Arnita's prediction, each of the couples begins to drift apart in a sea of doubt and distrust. Can the "divine" intervention of two well-meaning ghosts (William Hurt and Samantha Mathis) keep these earthly conflicts from erupting into multiple self-fulfilling prophecies? Written by
In the "Thank You" section of the credits, "Kiehls" is misspelled with an extra "l" as "Kielhls." "Expendables Plus" is misspelled as "Expenables Plus." "Moet et Chandon" is misspelled as "Moet et Chandun." See more »
There are 8 million stories in Manhattan. This ain't one of them. This story takes place in Weehawken, New Jersey, right across the river.
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Essential viewing for Cindy Crawford fans, if no one else.
"The Simian Line" was filmed in 1999 and spent two years on the shelf before getting a limited American commercial release; here in Britain it bypassed cinemas completely and premiered, appropriately enough, on the Sky Premier cable channel (on the Tuesday of the week it opened in New York and Los Angeles, in fact). In all cases it's not hard to see why, and not just because like the opening credits of "The Sopranos," the presence of the World Trade Center here has a definite resonance in these post-September 11 days.
Director/co-writer Linda Yellen shot the movie on a low budget and in very little time, and unfortunately it shows all the way through; technical blotches aside, the would-be whimsical and romantic story of four couples told by a psychic that one of them will be history at midnight on New Year's Eve intertwines its various storylines (all too insubstantial for their own good) far less effectively than your average episode of "The Love Boat," with scenes ending abruptly, some poor dialogue and situations, and no narrative flow to speak of. Throw in excessive use of pointless voiceovers and the inexplicable presence of a pair of ghosts (William Hurt and Samantha Mathis) and it should be a disaster... but it's just a mixed bag instead.
The film has a number of good points; several scenes do hit home, although a bit less time devoted to Lynn Redgrave worrying about losing her devoted younger lover Harry Connick Jr and a bit more development of the other strands would have given the movie more balance. But it's biggest plus is its ensemble cast, most of whom play a big part in making this slight tale watchable. Only one of the team - apart from an irritatingly accented Hurt - lets the side down; it's not who you think it is, either. Instead it's Tyne Daly's embarrassing psychic, about whom the less said the better.
This is, on the other hand, a good deal for Redgrave, for Connick, for Monica Keena, for Jamey Sheridan... and especially for Cindy Crawford, who although stuck in the least dramatic plotline does deliver a good, genuine performance as Sheridan's equally business-minded but not quite as relentlessly driven wife. This is to her what "Coming to America" and "The Nutty Professor" were to Eddie Murphy - the film may not be all that good, but the work is another matter entirely. (Note from one of Cindy's male fans to the rest of them: Watch for the bathing scene.) Time to give her a break for "Fair Game," methinks. As for Yellen, better luck next time.
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