A fateful event leads to a job in the film business for top mixed-martial arts instructor Mike Terry. Though he refuses to participate in prize bouts, circumstances conspire to force him to consider entering such a competition.
Following the theft of a postal-order, a fourteen-year old cadet is expelled from Naval College. To save the honour of the boy and his family, the pre-eminent barrister of the day is engaged to take on the might the Admiralty.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The name of the stage play that was being staged in the Vermont town of Waterford in the USA was "Trials of the Heart". See more »
Just before the P.A. accidentally wipes the "Dinner w/ the Mayor" note from the whiteboard, it's clear that the penmanship is quite different from what Bill Macy's character had written just a moment before. Macy had written "Dinner" at an upward angle from left to right, but now the same word is written clearly straight across. 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 »
I haven't been thoroughly following David Mamet's career, but just watching this film, "American Buffalo" and "Glengarry Glen Ross" I already get a feel of his unique style of writing. It's very witty, very original and he has certain trademarks, like quick exchanges of dialogue between actors and repeating of the same sentence of dialogue in a group of lines. Well, his uniqueness is quite evident in watching this movie and it works quite well.
First I'll mention the vast array of talented actors. I don't think the casting could've been any better. Character actor William H. Macy is brilliant as the almost unscrupulous director, who will do ANYTHING--and I'm not exaggerating the least bit--to get his picture done. Fellow character actor/fellow PT Anderson regular Philip Seymour-Hoffman turns in another brilliant, yet subtle performance as the shy but appealing and wildly creative screenwriter who is the fuel of this cinematic project. As I said, he's made a significant--and extremely impressive--transition from playing the airhead jerk in "Scent of a Woman" and "Twister" to playing deep character roles like this. He ranks among the top in my list of Best Underrated Actors (along with Macy) and I hope one of these days he'll become a household name. David Peymer, I think, delivers the best performance of his career as the fast-talking, sniveling producer. I've always known he was a good actor, but he truly flaunts his knack for acting and taking risks in this role. It figures that playwright Mamet would assemble a group of fine character actors, instead of simply casting people who "look good on camera." That's one of the advantages of having a playwright as a director.
The script is wildly original and kept me laughing. There are many interesting, memorable quotes. And this is just a fine adult comedy (Thank God!!). With the explosion of teen gross-out comedies, I'm sure audiences will cherish a comedy like this. It works in all aspects. Not only is it well-performed, but it's well-written (lots of comedies only contain one of those factors). And it's all done in good taste. So those of you expecting cheap sex jokes and low-brow gags involving bodily functions--sorry to disappoint you! There are no cliches. This movie is an explosion of Mamet's gift for creativity. Take for example, the relationship between Hoffman and the beautiful Rebecca Pidgeon. They don't have a sex scene. Most of their screen time is spent talking and getting to know each other, sharing their thoughts on writing, researching the town's history, finding out how much they have in common. Do we still see that in the movies? Character development in romance? In the scene where Hoffman is in the hotel room with Sarah Jessica Parker lying on the bed naked, and Pidgeon knocks on his door to greet him with a bouquet of flowers, there's no predictability. You would assume she would take one look at Parker's naked body and punch him in face. I'm not going to give away what happens, but that moment stuck in my mind, because it is the first film I've seen to go a different route with the whole "girlfriend catches you in bed with another girl" premise.
"State and Main" is pleasant, light-hearted, funny, original comedy and it's one I'd definitely recommend. If you want to see great performances and laugh at good, tasteful humor--you can't go wrong!
My score: 7 (out of 10)
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