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Rick D. Wasserman,
"New Suit" is a contemporary update of the fairy tale "The Emperor's New Clothes." Set in present-day Hollywood, the story concerns a script which does not exist, but nonetheless draws praise and bids from the creative community.Written by
As self-confessed movie addict, I'd thought I'd seen it all -- but the new indie feature NEW SUIT still managed to impress me. Gorgeously filmed in the new digital 24P (the same technique used by George Lucas for the new Star Wars), NEW SUIT is reminiscent of other hip, fun movie satires like Swimming With Sharks, Living In Oblivion or even LA Story. This one, directed by Frenchman Francois Velle, is deliciously sharp and wickedly dark. Perhaps it takes an outsider to truly see through the gauze of the Hollywood dream factory. Smartly written, beautifully edited, finely acted and backed by a snazzy, peppy soundtrack, NEW SUIT is almost flawless as this French director's crossover English-language debut. As Hollywood hopeful Kevin Taylor, Jordan Bridges is both down-to-earth and likeable. Like his father Beau, he seems set for a very solid movie career. This kid has decency written all over him and is gorgeous to boot. The rest of the cast are equally charismatic, from Marisa Coughlin as beautiful aspiring agent Marianne Roxbury to Dan Hedaya as fearsome CEO Muster Hansau (even the names are hilariously on the nose). Mark Setlock and Heather Donohue (of Blair Witch fame) provide a wonderful comic due as Muster's put upon development executives, driven entirely by fear. Donohue, in particular, reminds one of a young Catherine O'Hara and one hopes she gets the chance to show off her comic talents in other movies. Screenwriter Craig Sherman even takes a cameo as the icecream man Kevin names his fictitious writer after (Jordan Strawberry).
Without giving the plot away, the bones of the story are deliciously simple. Disgusted by the game-playing and back-biting of the studio industry, Kevin takes the concept of the Emperor's New Clothes and makes up an entirely fictitious 'hot script' - just for the joy of seeing his peers squirm as they pretend to have read it. Too late, his 'joke' snowballs out of control - and even Marianne gets in on the scheme. Before she and Kevin know it, she's incited a bidding war between two rival producers, mediated by a icy, bald-domed studio head Braggy Shoot (with his own personal Feng Shui advisor) in a very funny performance by ER's Paul McCrane.
There's far too much to compliment about NEW SUIT -- it's richly layered with many, many insider jokes - and it's the kind of movie you'll want to watch a few times over to really savor all the funny details and smart/snide punchlines. NEW SUIT has the potential to be a hip cult favorite.
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