Realism and fantasy collide in Jonathan Lethem's genre-bending coming-of-age story, which follows two estranged brothers as they try to leave New York City for a new life in California only... See full summary »
Anthony M. Bertram
Louis, a young teacher enamored of the age of F. Scott Fitzgerald, loses his job when he's caught trying on a bra he finds in a campus office. He decides to go to New York City to find himself and to be a writer. He answers an ad for a housemate placed by the eccentric and opinionated Henry Harrison; an odd-couple relationship starts. Louis gets a job selling advertising for a green magazine and fancies Mary, a co-worker. He meets Henry's neighbor, the hirsute Gershon, and Henry offers Paul schooling in the gentleman's world of being an "extra man" - a hired companion, a gigolo - for older women. Can Louis sort out these varied worlds as well as his own expectations? Written by
The first party which Henry (Kevin Kline) takes Louis (Paul Dano) to takes place in a Manhattan Art Museum named "Neue Galerie New York," which means literally "New Gallery New York," and which specializes exclusively in 20th Century Austrian and German art and decorative art. When Meredith (Celia Weston) mentions that someone is "over by the Klimt," the reference is to a painting called "Adele Bloch-Bauer I," seen on screen prominently, which was painted by Gustave Klimt in 1907. See more »
As the main characters ride in a convertible out of the city, the background scenery of a cemetery is continuously repeated. See more »
First of all, let me start off by saying that the story is so compelling and spellbinding that it will blow you away. There is just something about this movie that is so unique in every way.
The characters in this movie are so fantastically unique, quirky and lovable. It all just came together for a greater unity. The role of Louis Ives (played by Paul Dano) was the quirkiest of all, struggling to find his place in life, dealing with his sexuality and the admiration of Henry and trying to find acceptance. And I must admit that Paul Dano portrayed his character in a very good way; he was awesome in this movie. And his resemblance to a young Liam Neeson is just uncanny.
Moving on to the role of Henry Harrison (played by Kevin Kline), well his role was eccentric and strict. But, as usual, Kline put on a magnificent performance. He is very charismatic and have a good voice. He is indeed one of the better actors of recent times.
And also, not forgetting, the strange character of Gershon Gruen (played by John C. Reilly) was also very memorable and lovable, especially his voice.
In all fairness, then this movie worked so good on all levels. However, I think that a share of people might be put off by the movie, as it does have that certain epic cinema moment to it, and also dealing with (and I use this term in lack of better) sexually deviant behavior. For me, I found that aspect of the movie to be one of the driving factors, because it showed how Louis Ives was struggling to find himself and dealing with his needs.
The movie is very beautiful in more than one way. The story is beautiful, the cinematography is beautiful, the music is beautiful, and so forth. This is one of the better movies I have seen in a while. It is a fresh breath of change in the movie scene for me. Nice with a movie that stands out from the mainstream comedies, and dares to be so unique as it is.
If you haven't already seen "The Extra Man", then you owe it to yourself to do so, especially if you are (like me) a lover of the cinema and movies. This is a story that will stay with you for a long, long time.
Thumbs up, way, way up from me!
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