London Suite (TV Movie 1996) Poster

(1996 TV Movie)

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A truly appalling version of the play
Alastair Fyfe22 January 2006
One has to feel that Jay Sandrich, as director, has to be responsible for the weak performances from this collection of usually reliable actors. With the exception of Michael Richards and Madeline Kahn, the credited actors turn in truly shocking performances. As for the Scottish and Irish accents from Richard Mulligan, Paxton Whitehead and Jane Carr, words fail me. These are trained actors?

Thankfully, the uncredited William Franklin, was, as ever, the consummate professional. If he watched the rushes, he probably requested to be left off the credit list.

How Simon must have shuddered.
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The hotel staff are much funnier than the guests...
moonspinner5513 April 2009
European and American characters intermingle in London for comedic Neil Simon stories underlined with pathos or sentiment. Simon's somewhat-withered adaptation of his play is seemingly an extension of many ideas or characters from his theatrical feature "California Suite"...and one that is not above copping ideas from other movies as well. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is an American on her honeymoon without a husband; Madeline Kahn is another tourist who goes out on a date with Scotsman Richard Mulligan (dressed up like David Niven in "Separate Tables"); Michael Richards and Julie Hagerty, in town for Wimbledon, are sidelined by slapstick-y bad luck; while actress Patricia Clarkson reunites with the ex-husband she still holds a torch for, Kelsey Grammar (playing gay). Simon's rhythm hasn't changed over the years: he sets up a joke wryly, detonates the joke dryly, and then delivers a comeback zinger. The whole movie is a series of zingers, most of which are met with stony silence (this is one sitcom that could use a laugh-track). Apparently cast with an eye on the NBC-TV market, the picture could really use some headier talent (Clarkson does well, though the supporting cast making up the staff get the biggest laughs). Louis-Dreyfus has an amusing bit telling a lie which gets bigger and bigger, and Richards' pinched nerve (while an easy target for visual jokes) has some funny repercussions. The TV production is rather cut-rate (as is the score and photography), however it's a relatively painless comedy--albeit one that is passed its prime.
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An Off-Day for Neil Simon: Sometimes Great Hitters Just Hit One Single in Four At-Bats.
Jay Raskin8 December 2006
Given the enormous comedic talent involved, this was rather disappointing. The most successful comedic playwright since Shakespeare, Neil Simon, has half a dozen of the most popular American comedians of the 1990's in this 1996 production. The director, Jay Sandwich, was the main director of the two most popular American television shows of the 1970's and 1980's (the Mary Tyler Moore Show and the Bill Cosby Show).

Neil Simon always mixes together four or five plots and keeps them moving briskly. In this case three of his four separate plots go nowhere. Only one pays off.

The successful plot involves Sidney (Kelsey Grammar) and Diana (Patricia Clarkson). Diana is a successful television star hoping to revive her marriage to Sidney that broke up eight years previously. Sidney has been living as a gay man on the Greek island of Mikonos for those eight years and has come to meet Diana for an entirely different reason. The performances here are subtle, sharp, sensitive and sweet.

Julia Louise Dreyfus and Johnathan Silverman try to work a plot about a newlywed who loses her husband at the airport. Dreyfus is pure slapstick, twisting,turning and rolling her eyes to simulate her hysteria at losing her husband. Silverman arrives too late and is too laid-back to improve things. At one point Dreyfus is supposed to be drunk and says to a waiter, "I'm drunk, can't you tell?" In fact, she acts drunk throughout, so it is hard to tell.

Michel Richards and Julie Haggardy do more mainly physical slapstick as a man with a bad back and a wife who loses her husband's Wimbledon tickets. This seems to go back to television sketch comedy of the 1950's. One could imagine Sid Caesar or Milton Berle wringing the same laughs from the material. Richards is in his element with the physical comedy, so there are a few laughs here. Brits, Paxton Whitehead and Jane Carr brighten up this episode.

Madeline Kahn and Richard Mulligan go on a mismatched date which leads nowhere. It reminded me of the old television show "Love American Style". There are a few faint smiles but no laughs here.

I would say, if you're a Neil Simon fan, see it for the wonderful acting of Kelsey Grammar and Patricia Clarkson, but don't expect anything from the other stories. As a whole, it is sub-par Neil Simon, but at least 25% of it is solid Neil Simon at his best
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Quite a Disappointment!
Syl7 October 2005
Ironically, I was in London in 1996 for a few days in the summer. When this film aired on television, I was excited. It had a great cast but when it came to air. It was embarrassing to watch. This is one of Neil Simon's weakest stories. I am sure he could have come up with something better and interesting to entertain us. I felt embarrassed for the great cast like Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Jonathan Silverman. They had a crazy story. I was surprised by Rolf Saxon who I love playing Julia's brother-in-law living in London with his wife. You could see they were trying so hard for the audience. Despite Rolf's brief appearance, he goes uncredited and that's an outrage for me. I liked watching Madeline Kahn and Richard Mulligan but felt it was too awkward. The worst was Patricia Clarkson, Kristen Johnson, and Kelsey Grammar. I am sorry but it was so hard to watch them. I liked Michael Richards and Julie Hagerty together but felt that they could have used a better story. I liked the brief appearance of British actress, Janine Duvitsky.
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Waste of Talent
DKosty12312 July 2007
This t v made production has a cast of lots of talent, but no script and sequencing which makes little sense. If there are any entertainment values in this, it is if you want to see a cast member & a little cheeky British humor.

Michael Richards is a good physical comedian. This film takes him & disables him after the first sequences with a bad back. That pretty much sets the mood for the abuse that the script makes of the cast. Kelsey Grammar is a good verbal comedian- so have him somber because he has an incurable disease.

The only near chuckles in this a a couple of cheeky sequences in Richards room after he is prone with the bad back. Other than that, this film has little to offer. Interestingly there is a sequence in front of a building in London when a bus with a banner about a US state, Pennsy. drives in front of the building on the street. That makes me wonder if that was deliberate, or did they do some back drop filming in the US?
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i actually liked it...
lior_survivor10 January 2004
i actually liked it...from several reasons. one, the wonderful cast in the film: julia louie, michael r, richard m, kelsey and more...a great story which collects number of stories... it's not a humor comedy it's more like a comedy about life and some misunderstanding in is quite funny and i recommend it to all people. it's nice to view some simple stories about life and all the little things in life we have and sometimes we wish we haven't done or passed by.

vote: 7 out of 10
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not even a smile
Mickey Knox28 November 2000
The most important thing i can say now about London Suite is that, as a comedy, it's supposed to make you laugh. Well it didn't even make me smile. Not only once. Not even smile. And with that i say it all. I mean be serious! Is that humour?? No way! Every assumed gag is pointless and stupid, the actors play horrible, and that's not all. The worse thing is that it's not original. The idea looks a lot like Four Rooms. The same thing: 4 totally different stories, that happen in the same hotel. Only that in 4R they're presented one by one, and here they are all together. And in 4R they had something connecting them, and here they don't. And in 4R there was the genial Quentin Tarantino on board, here it's a bunch of talentless crew that manages to create one of the worst movies i've ever seen. Although the cast seemed promising: Elaine and Kramer from Seinfeld, Kristen Johnston from The Third Rock From The Sun, and Kelsey Grammar from Fraser and Cheers.

So if you by any chance have the chance to see this movie, DON'T. Chose anything else, but this one. Otherwise you'll waste 2 hours of your life. And life is too short to be wasted.

Vote: 2 out of 10.
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Which Neil Simon wrote this tripe?
jax7133 July 2006
It's hard to believe this was written by the famous playwright we know and love. Not only does London Suite lack humor, it lacks intelligence. All of the characters are based in stupidity which makes their ensuing plot lines a yawn to watch. The only thing notable about this story is that something so boring and silly could come from the pen of one of our wittiest and most cosmopolitan writers. I suppose there is an audience somewhere that can find entertainment in watching people's ignorance dominate their behavior, but it's not my cup of tea. The real shame is that a talented and eclectic cast of comedic actors was assembled for this un-funny script and it is so very obvious that they are each working very hard to find the essence of their character. No doubt, in the end, they realized they didn't have anything to work with and their futility comes through loud and clear in their delivery and body language. Don't bother with this unless you want to see how even a great writer can go bad.
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One Suite Too Many
mentummike31 May 2016
This is a total bomb. The play on which it is based is also a bomb, considering the source. The baker's dozen of super talented actors could not save this monument to mediocrity. It truly screens like the very definition of a made-for-TV movie, only from the eighties rather than 1996. It's almost as if Mr. Simon was trying to squeeze out another "Suite" as excellent and successful as the first two . . . oh, wait . . . I guess that might be the point (?!?), but apparently the only point. A very constipated mash-up of retro-'60's dialogue and '90's comedic sensibilities, there is awkwardness to be had at nearly every turn.
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Hilarious Play!
Cookie2410 August 2000
This movie rocked! I taped and watched it three times in two days. I totally loved it! It's not for people who can't follow four stories at one, but I can and understood all of them.

The first story is about Julia Louis-Dreyfus, a distraught newlywed who can't find her husband for a party. 'My olive is gone.' Instead of telling the truth, she tells the guests that her husband has 'hemoglybosisis'.

The second story, and arguably the funniest, Michael Richards throws out his back. 'Mrs. Sitgood, as you can see, I'm talking to you from the floor. The floor is the only thing that kept me from landing in the lobby.' His wife, Julie Hagerty, and Dr. McMerlin try to help his back problems and end up on the floor with him.

The third story, an emotional one at best, is Kelsey Grammer, a gay man, and his ex-wife who's still in love with him. He comes to London to meet her so he can have money for his significant other, Max.

The fourth story is about Madeline Kahn and her daughter, who hooks her up with Richard Mulligan, and invites her for a night out. 'Smell my hair. It smells like I was at a five day barbecue...I'm going to be at the theater and suddenly, someone will yell FIRE!.'

Probably the funniest quote and an indicator that it's from a play was: 'Why are we talking like this? It sounds like we're talking in a musical.' This is way better than a musical. I loved it and the next time it's on TV, watch it. No excuses.
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