College has always been a time for experimentation, sexual, cultural and otherwise. "Harvard Man" plays out against a background of love, sex, basketball, crime and experimentation. Action and philosophy in young people's quest to discover their true identity.Written by
The outdoor scenes would indicate mid summer when basketball season is in the middle of winter. See more »
Well, pardon me for breathing, what are you his fucking savior?
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On The DVD there is an Alternate Opening Scene. The only major difference being that the sex scene between Cindy & Alan is more graphic (you see more naked shots of Alan, which were not in the original version) See more »
I Can't Let You Go
Written by Jim Galloway
Performed by Love Candy
Courtesy of Attack Records See more »
Dostoevskian 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU
The new form James Toback minted in his still-sharp-looking 2000 BLACK AND WHITE--a sort-of-Godardian essay movie heavy on cultural politics, flamboyant improvisation, and Toback's sexual obsessions--got kicked to the curb when JT finally made his long-in-the-works autobiographical bildungsroman, which originated with Warren Beatty, and later languished in the fields of Leonardo DiCaprio. Supposedly cast by Mary Vernieu, the movie is really cast by Toback's weiner: what else explains the surrealism of Joey Lauren Adams as a Harvard philosophy professor (at 28!) lecturing undergraduates on Wittgenstein's distrust in the expressivity of language? Or, for that matter, Rebecca Gayheart as a hard-as-nails (but, of course, secretly bisexual) FBI agent?
In BLACK AND WHITE, Toback's zany stunt casting (Brooke Shields as Nick Broomfield! Brett Ratner as a sleazy hack filmmaker!) worked, because the director let 'em roll, baby, roll. Here, Toback seems to have patterned his dialogue scenes after HIS GIRL FRIDAY--and the editing gooses the rhythms even further, so every scene plays like a MAD TV parody of crystal-meth freaks having a 78-rpm conversation.
Adrian Grenier plays the hero, Alan, a Harvard point guard, philosophy freak, and cocksman extraordinaire, who greets mob goons and Martin Heidegger alike with the same cool, adult, always-unexpectedly-detached repose. He shocks everyone in every situation with his infinitely wise underreaction to everything. Grenier suggests a moist pretty-boy naif in a Truffaut or Assayas movie; only late in the day, when he overdoses on LSD, does he seem to be acting at all. (That's not meant in a good way.) He divides his bed time between a mobster's daughter (Sarah Michelle Gellar, going for indie street cred just in case SCOOBY DOO didn't turn out) and the aforementioned girl-philosopher-queen (played by Adams as a kind of baby-voiced, bulbous-nosed Diane Sawyer). When Alan has to shave points in a Harvard-Dartmouth game to help his folks in Kansas rebuild their house after a tornado (why this movie allusion?), he gets in trouble with the mob and the Feds--and, this being a Toback movie, it's only a four-way with Eric Stoltz and three hot tamales that can get Alan out of hot water.
Like Toback's other dud, THE PICK-UP ARTIST, HARVARD MAN seems to have been thought-over to death. Toback massaged this material for many years; the LSD material and even the mob stuff dates the movie, marks it as Toback's bittersweet homage to his early-sixties youth. Set in the present no doubt for economic reasons, the picture makes no sense; but worse, Toback's heart isn't in it. This miserable cast doesn't give him the charge of the astonishing mix of great actors, "interesting" actors and stunning nonactors that made up BLACK AND WHITE. As another Toback gem, the non-fiction THE BIG BANG, proves, he needs a party full of bright minds to get things sparking. Without cast, Toback's Dostoevskian torments quickly turn into congealed Cinemax sleaze--and that will be the elephant graveyard where this blooper will no doubt lie.
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