State And Main

From the December 11, 2000 Chicago Reader. — J.R.


Writer-director David Mamet emulates Kaufman and Hart. A Hollywood film unit prepares to shoot a feature in a small town in Vermont, occasioning the sort of comic mishaps found in The Man Who Came to Dinner, though without comparably juicy characters. What Mamet serves up are a generically crass director (William H. Macy), a principled screenwriter (Philip Seymour Hoffman) who becomes romantically involved with the woman who runs the local bookstore (Rebecca Pidgeon), a starstruck mayor (Charles Durning), a lead actor who lusts after teenage girls (Alec Baldwin), and so on. I laughed a lot at the anti-Hollywood humor and generally had a fine time, in spite of the holier-than-thou hypocrisy that makes this movie easily and even intentionally Mamet’s most Hollywoodish picture to date. With Patti LuPone, Sarah Jessica Parker, David Paymer, and Julia Stiles. 106 min. (JR)

state and main

This entry was posted in Featured Texts. Bookmark the permalink.