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 joke closing credits title card at the end of the movie reads: "A complete list of this film's associate producers is available upon written request." See more »
When the PA accidentally erases the mayor's dinner from Tuesday (originally in red pen) on the calendar, she cleanly erases before rewriting it (in green pen). No day is visible whilst she is writing, however later in the scene it is clearly still for Tuesday and not for Wednesday. Later in the film, it appears under Wednesday (in green pen) and Tuesday is blank; later still, we see that both dates have the event written in their respective colors (and in very similar handwriting), with the red writing looking faded, as if only bits of it had been erased. 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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