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Whit Stillman's "Metropolitan" (1990)

I just discovered this lovely little movie on TCM.

What a surprise this turned out to be.

It's a quirky coming-of-age film about Manhattan socialite life, with a good sense of humor, and lots of faux intellectualism thrown in.

I really miss the days when studios used to take a chance on movies like this.

Has anyone else seen this little gem?

I wonder where the actors are today?

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by Anonymousreply 190April 9, 2023 4:36 AM

It was an indie not a "studio" move.

by Anonymousreply 1March 24, 2023 10:46 AM

I saw it in the theater when it was released. I was slightly younger than the characters and considered it aspirational. Loved the arch way of speaking; still remember one character describing his stepmother as "a woman of untrammeled malevolence."

Not sure whether it would be a good idea to revisit this one, though.

by Anonymousreply 2March 24, 2023 10:47 AM

This is my mother's favorite movie. She is around the same age as the main characters and grew up in Manhatttan with people like that (would not call them "socialites" though) and says he completely nailed it.

Stillman had some great movies back in the 90s, but good point OP - WHET him and the actors?

by Anonymousreply 3March 24, 2023 10:47 AM

That looks cute.

by Anonymousreply 4March 24, 2023 10:51 AM

We've had at least one or maybe more threads on "Metropolitan" previously on DL. A search of archives may bring them up.

by Anonymousreply 5March 24, 2023 10:53 AM

I've liked some of Whit Stillman's other films - Barcelona, The Last Days of Disco, and Love & Friendship. Not so much Damsels in Distress.

by Anonymousreply 6March 24, 2023 10:53 AM


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by Anonymousreply 7March 24, 2023 10:56 AM

Great film about coming of age in a New York City and social world that has changed.

AT Harris for instance is long gone.

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by Anonymousreply 8March 24, 2023 10:57 AM

More is the pity about A.T. Harris

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by Anonymousreply 9March 24, 2023 10:58 AM

Town & Country did a great write-up of what went on behind the scenes.

It sounds like so much fun for the actors and crew.

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by Anonymousreply 10March 24, 2023 11:01 AM

I was trying to find more information about the lead actor Edward Clements, but I found nothing.

After this movie, it seems he kind of dropped out of acting

I read somewhere that he runs some kind of religious organization.

Is that true?

by Anonymousreply 11March 24, 2023 11:02 AM

I was in my early 20s when Chipp closed it's Madison Avenue shop. I bought a LOT of old stock and some of it survives to this day, passed down to nephews and soon grand nephews.

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by Anonymousreply 12March 24, 2023 11:03 AM

Ed Clements found God and is now a minister. He's happy and send his warmest regards.

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by Anonymousreply 13March 24, 2023 11:07 AM

Part II

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by Anonymousreply 14March 24, 2023 11:08 AM

The guy who played Nick Smith was so cute.

He had the perfect preppie look, but his character was so much more interesting than your typical preppie.

He was handsome, conceited, crazy, quirky, funny, rude, obnoxious, and yet still lovable.

I actually laughed out loud a couple of times throughout the movie, because of his character.

Funny thing is that I thought the actor who played him (Chris Eigeman) was gay, but apparently he got married in 1993.

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by Anonymousreply 15March 24, 2023 11:10 AM

One of the funniest things was towards the end of the movie, when in an emergency, neither of the guys had a driver's license because they "lived in Manhattan."

So they had to catch a cab to the Hamptons. Lol.

Another funny scene from the movie was Nick totally lying when telling the story about Rick "running a train" on Polly Perkins. Nick had this irrational hatred for Rick, that was totally hilarious.

When confronted about the lie, Nick said that Polly Perkins was just a composite of all the women that Rick had slept with.

It made me think of how Carol Ann from Mommie Dearest was supposed to be a composite of all of Joan Crawford's assistants.

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by Anonymousreply 16March 24, 2023 11:49 AM

It was hysterical to find out that Tom, who was hyper critical of Jane Austen and many other novels, finally admitted that he never read any of the novels he was critiquing.

Rather, he read critical reviews of the novels, so that he could get a better perspective of the books by first reading what the critics had to say.

Omg that was just so ludicrously funny.

That's when I realized what kind of movie I was dealing with.

The whole time you think you're dealing with a voracious reader who can back up his "intellectual" criticism of classic novels, only to find out that he has never actually read any of them!

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by Anonymousreply 17March 24, 2023 12:01 PM

I saw this movie back in 1990. At the time I thought it was exceedingly dull.

by Anonymousreply 18March 24, 2023 12:08 PM

It's a tiny bit arrogant of people to go around worrying about those less fortunate.

by Anonymousreply 19March 24, 2023 12:11 PM

Lol R19.

Especially when YOU ARE the less fortunate.

by Anonymousreply 20March 24, 2023 12:12 PM

The most important thing to realize about parents is that there is absolutely nothing you can do about them.

by Anonymousreply 21March 24, 2023 12:12 PM

I rewatched this recently after not having seen it since it came out. It held up. Should be basic holiday viewing, like *Christmas in Connecticut* or *It's a Wonderful Life*.

R17, note that Tom actually champions *not* reading the novel, since if you read the critical scholarship (so he says) reading the novels is unecessary.

by Anonymousreply 22March 24, 2023 12:14 PM
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by Anonymousreply 23March 24, 2023 12:16 PM

Nick Smith was a snob, a sexist, totally obnoxious, prone to mendacity, and tiresome.

by Anonymousreply 24March 24, 2023 12:17 PM

R15, chris eigenman is a childhood friend of my best friend (apparently they had some scuffle and there is still a piece of pencil in my friend’s leg rammed into it by the young chris).

My friend is literally from that echelon of society, and spent spring breaks from High school (at saint’s George’s no less) partying with friend on fifth avenue. He says the movie was scandalous at the time as it exposed things that the upperclass preferred keeping less-scrutinized

by Anonymousreply 25March 24, 2023 12:20 PM

Whit Stillman was a quite attractive young man.

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by Anonymousreply 26March 24, 2023 12:21 PM

This is about the only economical social life you're gonna find in New York. Music, drinks, entertainment, hot, nutritious meals all at no expense to you.

by Anonymousreply 27March 24, 2023 12:25 PM

[quote] Nick Smith was a snob, a sexist, totally obnoxious, prone to mendacity, and tiresome.

That's what made him so amusing, R24.

But if you were to ask Nick, he would say that you are describing Rick Von Sloneker!

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by Anonymousreply 28March 24, 2023 12:26 PM

I think that Chris Eigeman is a brilliant actor.

It saddens me that talent like his, just goes to waste.

His body of work is relatively small, and I wish it were larger.

Even short clips of his acting will draw me in to his character.

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by Anonymousreply 29March 24, 2023 12:33 PM

Chris Eigeman on Conan, talking about his "resting bitch face" in 1999 before it even became a thing.

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by Anonymousreply 30March 24, 2023 12:41 PM

And he aged like chipped beef on white toast.

by Anonymousreply 31March 24, 2023 12:43 PM

[quote] Town & Country did a great write-up of what went on behind the scenes.

Of course they did.

by Anonymousreply 32March 24, 2023 1:03 PM

"Well, it was ghastly. Well, it was just ghastly."

by Anonymousreply 33March 24, 2023 1:06 PM

This is, like, liderally, the WHITEST movie ever made.

by Anonymousreply 34March 24, 2023 1:12 PM

Whiter than Leni Riefenstahl's Das blaue Licht, shot in the snow in the Bavarian Alps?

by Anonymousreply 35March 24, 2023 1:26 PM

One of my favorite Christmas movies.

by Anonymousreply 36March 24, 2023 1:52 PM

I enjoyed this movie when I rewatched it years after I saw it. I loved Chris Eigmen’s character. I saw him on a TV show years ago—he was a semi-regular—but I’m too lazy to look it up. Anyway, he was really funny on that show too.

by Anonymousreply 37March 24, 2023 2:02 PM

Wasn't Eigeman on "It's Like, You Know..."? The show that starred Jennifer Grey's new nose.

by Anonymousreply 38March 24, 2023 2:04 PM

Eigeman went into screen writing and production as far as my friend knows

by Anonymousreply 39March 24, 2023 2:22 PM

Hate to be a party pooper but I loathed this film. Not only are the characters in it insufferable, the actors playing them mostly deliver very amateurish performances. Plus the movie looks like it was shot on a budget of $500.

The fact that Gus Mattox wrote the score for this is more fascinating than the film itself.

by Anonymousreply 40March 24, 2023 2:34 PM

it honestly was shot on a $1000 budget. they filmed at night when they could basically sneak into the apartments on Fifth. and yeah, the writing is mawkish, and the acting amateur.

but I love it anyway

by Anonymousreply 41March 24, 2023 2:37 PM

[quote] Not only are the characters in it insufferable, the actors playing them mostly deliver very amateurish performances. Plus the movie looks like it was shot on a budget of $500.

I think that adds to its charm.

The actors are all newbies, and the scenery makes the story somewhat believable.

And yet the movie still garnered an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay.

That's when the Academy still used to have credibility, and awarded movies a nomination based on merit and not politics, as is the case today.

by Anonymousreply 42March 24, 2023 4:18 PM

They snuck into apartments that were not theirs / their parents' apartments?

by Anonymousreply 43March 24, 2023 4:20 PM

54 and saw this years ago. Agree with R40 on the performances; all in all, a mannered, fussy little picture, but somehow still vaguely enjoyable. I did like Carolyn Farina very much and rue the apparent stall-out of her career. The last time I can recall seeing her in anything was a cameo appearance in Scorcese's Age of Innocence.

by Anonymousreply 44March 24, 2023 5:22 PM

OP, I absolutely love this movie. I can’t put my finger on why I like it so much because on paper, it is a view of entitled and condescending younglings, but I saw it with my dad when it first came out and we both laughed at so many of the lines.

“I told the seagulls that I came in peace”.

by Anonymousreply 45March 24, 2023 5:35 PM

This post cracks me up. I forgot the late 1980's; it was all about the "Ivy League style". My 1st boss Harvey yelling at my father-in law"his clothes are all fucking wrong, what works on the Chicago ain't gonna work here in NYSE floor". That day Harvey's wife Mirriam took me to Chipp's on Madison& AT Harris, started the process of getting me the correct clothes. Mirriam told me 'You will always be the outsider, they will not like you, but they eventually will respect your business skills and be scared of you because you will bankrupt them. But, you have to wear their uniform."

by Anonymousreply 46March 24, 2023 6:09 PM

OP, I absolutely love this movie. I can’t put my finger on why I like it so much because on paper, it is a view of entitled and condescending younglings

I think because it's quirky, and also because the people playing the aristocratic socialites were not really aristocratic socialites, so their personal lives made the movie a bit more fun.

This was Carolyn Farina's first role, as it was for many others in the cast.

Chris Eigeman seems to be the only veteran actor, but he's very funny and sarcastic, so even his role as "American Psycho" Patrick Bateman didn't ring true because Chris is so much more amusing.

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by Anonymousreply 47March 24, 2023 6:32 PM

If you have a library card--and I'm guessing most of you do--you can catch Metropolitan on Kanopy. For the elders here, however, the time travel might trigger some unwanted melancholy. Lost better days, blah-di-blah.

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by Anonymousreply 48March 24, 2023 9:38 PM

Whit Stillman called Chris Eigeman his "muse."

Did they ever have sex?

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by Anonymousreply 49March 25, 2023 12:10 AM

‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’: Chris Eigeman Sizzled as Whit Stillman’s Muse for Years

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by Anonymousreply 50March 25, 2023 12:12 AM

Much of Metropolitan was shot in townhouses of friends and and others Stillman knew.

As for casting and rest:


In the pre-internet days, an audition notice in Backstage magazine was industry standard and the notice for “Metropolitan” attracted hundreds of actors to the audition. Among them were the bulk of young actors who would make up the cast. “Chris Eigeman, Carolyn Farina and Allison Parisi were all among the first 50 people that showed up in the first audition and Taylor Nichols was in the second audition,” Stillman recalled. Dylan Hundley and Isabel Gillies came from the rarefied world the film depicted. Stillman found them through a talent search through the New York private school world.

“The ad said ‘anybody who could reasonably play in their twenties,'” Eigeman, who played the cocky Nick, recalled. He expected a huge crowd and was hesitant to attend until he realized it was half a block from his home. “I figured I could just go back and hang out at my apartment if I had to wait — and that’s what I did,” he said. “I got there in the morning, and my number was actually called sometime mid-afternoon. And it was a series of auditions. It was a very traditional way of getting a job back then.”


Whit Stillman sold his insider rights to purchase a RS apartment in SoHo or Tribeca Manhattan, NYC. Neither he nor anyone else at the time could have foretold fast forward to 2000's and beyond those would be two of the hottest areas RE in Manhattan.

Indeed if you were to set Metropolitan in modern times it would have to be largely done in SoHo, West Village and Tribeca because that is where tons of money including WASPs have moved.

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by Anonymousreply 51March 25, 2023 5:24 AM

Notice besides strip poker the other card game played by young people in Metropolitan was bridge.

by Anonymousreply 52March 25, 2023 5:26 AM

For all you that throw word "socialist" around...

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by Anonymousreply 53March 25, 2023 10:24 AM

Chris Eigeman's DVD Picks

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by Anonymousreply 54March 25, 2023 10:25 AM

What I remember is how it was different from something like Diner. This movie made the women characters in the ensemble be just as smart as the men.

by Anonymousreply 55March 25, 2023 10:28 AM

* hot*, nutritious meals...

by Anonymousreply 56March 25, 2023 10:42 AM

This is actually very warm. It has a lining.

by Anonymousreply 57March 25, 2023 10:51 AM

Thanks for that link R51

For anyone who wants to rewatch, it is available on HBO Max and Hulu.

It's funny--when I saw the movie (long after it came out) I was probably around 12 or 13 and the characters all seemed like "adults" --funny to see they're actually supposed to be college students.

by Anonymousreply 58March 25, 2023 10:53 AM

indeed, I think Nick goes back to school at one point in the film

by Anonymousreply 59March 25, 2023 10:58 AM

Based on this post, I watched it last night. I echo many of the sentiments above: produced on a budge, writing a bit stilted etc. HOWEVER, there was something "wholesome" about it. I did enjoy it.

I was trying to imagine a modern day movie that would have young 20-somethings in it, and I'm sure it would be totally different: more vulgar, crass, bitchy unkind, ill-mannered etc. I loved the "sophistication" of the characters.

by Anonymousreply 60March 25, 2023 11:31 AM

R44 I think Carolyn Farina became a lawyer. She also has a cameo in The Last Days of Disco.

by Anonymousreply 61March 25, 2023 11:44 AM

I love all three of the Stillman '90s films, and when I got the Criterion Blu-ray box a few years ago, not having seen any of them in decades, I thought they held up very well. Barcelona and Last Days of Disco are technically smoother, with bigger budgets and more consistent acting, but it seems to be a situation where how you feel about one of the three will carry over to the other two.

That set includes a first-rate video essay by Farran Smith Nehme on the three films. She does a great job of tracking themes and cinematic influences and tying them together as a triptych.

Chris Eigeman was in the first episode of Girls as Hannah Horvath's boss. Hannah was not actually getting paid, but thought the job would eventually turn into a paid position, and he disabused her of that notion. I was disappointed he wasn't going to be a recurring character.

by Anonymousreply 62March 25, 2023 12:38 PM

[quote]Funny thing is that I thought the actor who played him (Chris Eigeman) was gay, but apparently he got married in 1993.

There's a scene in The Last Days of Disco in which the Eigeman character's friends (played by Kate Beckinsale and Mackenzie Astin) agree that he has a "gay mouth."

by Anonymousreply 63March 25, 2023 12:44 PM

Carolyn Farina became a psychologist. Allison Rutledge-Parisi (Jane) became a lawyer.

by Anonymousreply 64March 25, 2023 1:10 PM

I found it too right wing establishment for me.

by Anonymousreply 65March 25, 2023 1:50 PM

I only watched the beginning many years ago but I found it boring and the characters unlikable. Bright Young Things is set in an earlier time period but it was fascinating and funny and all of the actors went on to become major stars.

by Anonymousreply 66March 25, 2023 2:05 PM

That’s kind of the deal with Stillman, R65. Very original themes, and it’s confusing to see that sort of innovation from establishment types.

by Anonymousreply 67March 25, 2023 2:29 PM

He is Edith Wharton but thinks he’s Austen.

by Anonymousreply 68March 25, 2023 2:31 PM

So, in other words, he thinks he's less good than he is?

by Anonymousreply 69March 25, 2023 2:37 PM

He thinks he’s not a NYC insider writing charming piffle.

by Anonymousreply 70March 25, 2023 2:42 PM

“I have no feeling for Edith Wharton and my feeling for Henry James is quite attenuated, so they mean nothing to me. I have lots of feeling for Jane Austen—her world, her entire point of view. It’s interesting and moving and I have an emotional or intellectual connection to it. I chose to make a film of Lady Susan because it is great material but has a sort of defective presentation, so I could help to present it dramatically.”

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by Anonymousreply 71March 25, 2023 2:45 PM

The Criterion DVD extras has a scene that was shot with Will Kempe originally cast in the Chris Eigeman role. Stillman does commentary on it and says the reason they moved Will to the smaller role of Rick was because the size differential between him and the actor playing Tom didn't work. I call bullshit. A worse performance you won't soon see. The guy was a terrible actor and in that one scene, you couldn't understand a thing he was saying. He also mispronounced the word "composite" several times. Thank god Stillman came to his senses. Eigeman was the best thing in that film.

by Anonymousreply 72March 25, 2023 3:34 PM

Slim Whitman was always one of my favorites.

by Anonymousreply 73March 25, 2023 3:44 PM

I agree, Rose. His sampler is a holiday staple at our house.

by Anonymousreply 74March 25, 2023 4:01 PM

I'm watching Kanopy right now (classic 'Manchurian Candidate'), and I searched for 'Metropolitan', but it did not flag anything.

by Anonymousreply 75March 25, 2023 4:40 PM

R75, the company, Kanopy, shifts movies in and out. There may also be levels of subscription.

by Anonymousreply 76March 25, 2023 4:46 PM

It's not available on Kanopy proper. It might be a University subscription thing.

But it is on the Criterion Channel and someone else said it was on HBO Max.

by Anonymousreply 77March 25, 2023 5:03 PM

I found it online to watch.

by Anonymousreply 78March 25, 2023 5:08 PM

One of my fav movies. Saw it when it first came out and watch it at least one a year.

by Anonymousreply 79March 25, 2023 5:22 PM

No feeling for Edith Wharton???? Harumph!

by Anonymousreply 80March 25, 2023 6:55 PM

Taylor Nichols is still a working actor, and he regularly plays small roles in period films (because he's got such a great period face). He was recently in "Perry Mason" and "The Gilded Age."

by Anonymousreply 81March 25, 2023 7:23 PM

[quote] This movie made the women characters in the ensemble be just as smart as the men.

I think they were smarter, actually.

There's that one scene after Nick leaves to go to "the country" where he hilariously thinks his step mother is going to kill him, and the rest of the boys are left all alone. So they seek out the girls, but the girls all have something better to do than hang out with the boys.

The girls quickly realize that there's more to do in life than just hanging around with the same people all the time.

And eventually the group just falls apart.

Also, the girls are spot-on on their assessment of NIck, and even Tom. They go toe-to-toe in debate with them, and call them out on all their bullshit. Every single time.

It's a pretty progressive film for women, actually. Especially considering that the background of the movie is the annual debutante ball season.

You would think that the girls would be shallow and air headed, but they were the complete opposite.

by Anonymousreply 82March 25, 2023 7:54 PM

Thanks to OP for starting this thread. I'd gotten the Criterion DVD ages ago as a birthday gift, since I loved this movie, and it wound up never getting watched. Reading about the movie really put me in the mood to see it again so I fished it out. Good extras!

by Anonymousreply 83March 25, 2023 10:06 PM

R82, yeah, they all seem no-nonsense, the boys, even Tom, seem the airheads to some extent

by Anonymousreply 84March 26, 2023 3:00 AM

When you’re an egotist nothing is ever your fault.

by Anonymousreply 85March 26, 2023 3:03 AM

So I just re-watched it as an adult after this thread.

It really is a college movie, as I had said upthread, I was about 12 when I saw it and they all seemed like adults.

It's funny to think that "Friends" came out a year or two later - a very different NYC

It seems Stillman's father bailed on him and his mother and left them broke

Is it ever explained who the older guy in the bar is--- just someone they met or is he a relative of Charlie's?

Somehow the stilted dialog worked especially the Fourier, the Austen and Nick's speeches and Charlie's UHB theory. It reminded me of people I knew in college, only "turned up to 11"

The long haired guy is still hot, but like the rest of the cast, that was his One Big Role

by Anonymousreply 86March 26, 2023 4:17 AM

Everyone who likes this should also watch Barcelona!

by Anonymousreply 87March 26, 2023 4:28 AM

"It seems Stillman's father bailed on him and his mother and left them broke"

Dynamics of WASP families would fill volumes. Suffice to say there are reasons why teens and young adults who seem to have everything are offing themselves by jumping out of windows or something.

Grew up with "kids" not unlike those in "Metropolitan", whole NYC prep or boarding school set. Believe me when I tell you shit that goes on behind walls of those stately buildings with limestone façades that line Fifth or Park avenue is enough to make you aghast.

by Anonymousreply 88March 26, 2023 4:29 AM

R88 - that was Will's storyline - his father moved to Santa Fe without telling him and someone did away with Will's trust fund.

One thing I found curious was that no one talked about where they went to college, which was odd given that they were actually supposed to have been in college.

Audrey was doing some sort of year or semester abroad thing in Grenoble, but while there was some mention of girls' schools In CT-- that is where Audrey and Sally and Jane seemed to know each other from--no one ever mentioned which college they were at or if any of them were actually at the same college.

by Anonymousreply 89March 26, 2023 4:34 AM

The word escort meant something else back then.

by Anonymousreply 90March 26, 2023 4:46 AM

"One thing I found curious was that no one talked about where they went to college, which was odd given that they were actually supposed to have been in college."

Not really "odd" at all IMHO.

First and foremost Stillman had to keep focus of picture tight. Going on about what college or school one or more of the cast went to wouldn't really add anything to picture.

Frasier and Niles Crane are always banging on about how they went to Bryce Academy (prep) then Harvard and Yale and it got old after awhile. But "Fraiser" being a television show had tons of viewer hours to insert that bit of storyline.

In a film like "The Paper Chase" school or college is important (in this case Harvard) as it is part of plot device. In "Metropolitan" it's just assumed the cast all went to certain prep schools are are at various colleges known to their class.

by Anonymousreply 91March 26, 2023 4:46 AM

Chris Eigeman's chin is like Kirk Douglas.

by Anonymousreply 92March 26, 2023 4:50 AM

Some of the acting in this is really amateurish. Especially the red headed kid and the sweet dark haired girl. Such flat line deliveries.

by Anonymousreply 93March 26, 2023 4:59 AM

None of the actors had any energy, no actors tension and amateurs aren’t compelling on screen.

by Anonymousreply 94March 26, 2023 5:51 AM


I didn't mean they had to go on and on about it R91

Just that it never came up at all, -- not even in passing , e.g. "Oh I know Michael. He goes to Dartmouth too" or when Tom is saying goodbye to Audrey he doesn't say "well I guess I'm going back to Colby next week."

Not a big deal but given the specificity with the girls schools....

And citing Frasier... SMH

by Anonymousreply 95March 26, 2023 10:59 AM

I thought it was mentioned that Tom went to Princeton. I need to rewatch this movie.

by Anonymousreply 96March 26, 2023 11:30 AM

[quote]I thought it was mentioned that Tom went to Princeton.

That's correct. It comes up when his new friends are asking him why he's wearing such a light coat in the winter. He doesn't want to admit that he doesn't have a better coat because of his financial strictures.

by Anonymousreply 97March 26, 2023 11:45 AM

His flat on the UWS looks like a dump

by Anonymousreply 98March 26, 2023 11:51 AM

That was so deserved when Nick got punched.

by Anonymousreply 99March 26, 2023 12:29 PM

Wait-- have you all recently re-watched the movie or is this that weird DL Eldergay trick where you remember scene by scene details of movies and TV shows from 30, 40, even 50 years ago?

by Anonymousreply 100March 26, 2023 12:34 PM

I just watched it.

by Anonymousreply 101March 26, 2023 12:36 PM

R100 did you even read the op's post?

It was just on TCM the other night.

by Anonymousreply 102March 26, 2023 12:40 PM

I did find it odd that Stillman decided to include such a liberal use of the word "queer" in one scene, and not queer meaning gay, but queer meaning odd or strange.

Would college aged kids in 1990 even use that word?

by Anonymousreply 103March 26, 2023 1:18 PM

^ prep school Princeton types might. He’s talking quasi-ironically like his father. It’s a class signifier.

by Anonymousreply 104March 26, 2023 1:21 PM

R103 The movie isn’t set in 1990. I believe Stillman wanted this movie to be a period piece but kept references to the time period deliberately vague in part due to the lack of budget for things like older cars in the outdoor shots, etc. It had a very late-‘70s, early-‘80s vibe to me.

by Anonymousreply 105March 26, 2023 1:34 PM

[quote]Some of the acting in this is really amateurish.

[quote]None of the actors had any energy, no actors tension and amateurs aren’t compelling on screen.

Yeah, the same could be said about a lot of the acting in *Dazed and Confused* (with some obvious exceptions). Which is also a fantastic movie.

by Anonymousreply 106March 26, 2023 1:36 PM

Now that I know Whit Stillman also made The Last Days of Disco, I really want to see it.

If for no other reason, than to see Chris Eigeman again.

Same for Barcelona.

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by Anonymousreply 107March 26, 2023 1:41 PM

That explains a lot R105 and also fits in with Stillman's actual age (he's around 70 now) and closer to when he would have been a college student.

Didn't some (or one) of the characters also appear in Last Days of Disco, which was set in that late 70s/early 80s period too? -- yes, IMDB says that Farina as Audrey and Dylan Hundley as Sally were both in LDoD, and I assume not as 8 year old girls.

by Anonymousreply 108March 26, 2023 1:59 PM

Taylor Nichols was in LDoD too - IIRC he was allowed to speak as well.

by Anonymousreply 109March 26, 2023 2:32 PM

I loved Barcelona too. Eigeman is Fred Boynton.

Marta "You seem very intelligent for an American"

Fred: "Well I'm not."

by Anonymousreply 110March 26, 2023 3:25 PM

I was not a huge fan of Barcelona. I remember being very disappointed when I saw it in the theater, having been a huge fan of Metropolitan. But I should watch it again, because when I saw Last Days of Disco in the theater, I thought it was fine, but no Metropolitan. However in subsequent years, it's become my favorite Stillman film.

I have both Metropolitan and LDoD on Criterion DVD. I've been told that both of the blu-ray upgrades done by Criterion are not very good (which happens every once in a while), so maybe I'll wait to see if they do a 4K upgrade on the Stillman box set. The Criterion blu ray of Blow Out was said to be not very good at all, but the recent 4K upgrade fixed all those problems.

by Anonymousreply 111March 26, 2023 3:34 PM

I have to disagree about the performances in Metropolitan. While some of the smaller roles were less than impressive (but no one was outright bad), I would say the core group of eight were pretty much spot on for what they needed to be. You wouldn't want really polished actors playing those roles because the characters themselves aren't polished. They're espousing theories and beliefs that they themselves really have no idea about, so they should sound less confident and somewhat unsure about what they're saying. I think more experienced actors would have made the characters come across less genuine. These actors gave perfect performances, whether or not it was skill or inexperience.

by Anonymousreply 112March 26, 2023 3:39 PM

R111 I wasn't a huge fan of Barcelona the first time I saw it either. I think I was expecting a Spanish version of Metropolitan. But the second time, I loved it. It's a more mature film than Met but still very funny.

by Anonymousreply 113March 26, 2023 3:45 PM

I am definitely going to give it another shot, R113.

by Anonymousreply 114March 26, 2023 3:47 PM

Barcelona has Mia Sardino.

by Anonymousreply 115March 26, 2023 4:23 PM

Barcelona > Metropolitan > Last Days of Disco > Love and Friendship > Damsels in Distress

by Anonymousreply 116March 26, 2023 5:44 PM

[quote] I would say the core group of eight were pretty much spot on for what they needed to be. You wouldn't want really polished actors playing those roles because the characters themselves aren't polished. They're espousing theories and beliefs that they themselves really have no idea about, so they should sound less confident and somewhat unsure about what they're saying.

I agree with you 100%!

That's what made this movie work, and that's why so many people enjoyed it.

by Anonymousreply 117March 26, 2023 6:02 PM

Yes. I rented it in San Francisco in 1992.

It is the only time I've ever heard Brooks Brothers referred to as "Brooks".

by Anonymousreply 118March 27, 2023 12:41 AM

I just finished up all the extra features. One of the producers of the film, Brian Greenbaum, died of AIDS in 1992 at age 29. They had a little tribute to him.

by Anonymousreply 119March 27, 2023 2:12 AM

i've never seen love and friendship, what is it like?

by Anonymousreply 120March 27, 2023 2:43 AM

The Sevigny & Beckinsale reunion was fun.

by Anonymousreply 121March 27, 2023 2:50 AM

[quote]i've never seen love and friendship, what is it like?

It's an 18th-century literary costume picture for people who don't like those. Amusing, irreverent, and fast. We just hurtle through scenes with zero gravity. The cast, even beyond the attraction of the Beckinsale/Sevigny reunion, is wonderful, and there are good quotable lines (although I don't know that particular Austen work well enough to say what's her and what's Stillman).

by Anonymousreply 122March 27, 2023 5:12 AM


by Anonymousreply 123March 27, 2023 12:01 PM

FWIW, I asked my mother, who is 68, grew up in Manhattan and went to private school and she said she had thought the film was set in the early to mid 1970s, that NYC would have felt very different in the 80s, especially the late 80s, ditto the Hamptons.

by Anonymousreply 124March 27, 2023 1:05 PM

Those poofy sleeved dresses the girls wore felt 1980s.

by Anonymousreply 125March 27, 2023 1:07 PM

Just checking in to say that I love the name Whit Stillman!

by Anonymousreply 126March 27, 2023 1:10 PM

In one of the links on here R125, the costume designer said that she convinced her friends in Chattanooga to send her their cotillion dresses as costumes as they did not have money for that sort of thing.

Given that the movie was shot in 1988 or 89, it is likely the dresses would seem very 80s

by Anonymousreply 127March 27, 2023 1:13 PM

[quote] [R100] did you even read the op's post? It was just on TCM the other night.

Stay gold Datalounge.

Stay gold.

by Anonymousreply 128March 27, 2023 2:25 PM

My guess is that the film took place in the 1980s and that Stillman had no idea when he made it that it would be the success it was or that he would go on to make other successful films. When it was and he did, he decided to have some fun by including cameos of certain characters in his next movies, even though they didn't fit the timeline. I wouldn't read too far into it.

by Anonymousreply 129March 27, 2023 4:28 PM

I don't

by Anonymousreply 130March 28, 2023 1:32 PM

I always confuse him with Slim Whitman.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 131March 28, 2023 7:29 PM

[quote] I really miss the days when studios used to take a chance on movies like this


by Anonymousreply 132March 28, 2023 7:34 PM

My friend Brian was the producer. I remember when he was working on this.

The actors were paid $20/day.

Most of the actors did not know this world so Stillman had to paste the performances on them.

by Anonymousreply 133March 28, 2023 7:52 PM

[quote] My friend Brian was the producer. I remember when he was working on this.

I was sad to read he died of AIDS shortly thereafter. He left a small, but important legacy behind. Did he know he was sick when he was making the film?

by Anonymousreply 134March 28, 2023 8:01 PM

R134, I do not remember if he did or if he learned later.

This was a very long time ago.

by Anonymousreply 135March 28, 2023 8:28 PM

But I do remember the money. I guess that says something about me.

by Anonymousreply 136March 28, 2023 8:29 PM

Follow the money

by Anonymousreply 137March 30, 2023 12:09 PM

Tom in Succession actually reminds me of Tom in Succession although the latter is from St. Paul, Minnesota. But both are hopelessly middle class social climbers and snobs.

by Anonymousreply 138April 1, 2023 5:44 PM

Oops, I mean Tom in Succession reminds me of Tom in Metropolitan.

by Anonymousreply 139April 1, 2023 5:44 PM

Don't tell anyone that IRL, you'll look like a fool R138.

Tom, in Metropolitan, is from that world. (the "UHBs")

His father even lives on Park Avenue somewhere.

It's made very clear that his father left him and his mother and pretty much cut off all contact, somehow taking Tom's trust fund away too. (It's not explained how.)

But Tom went to prep school and is very much of that world - he is just temporarily in reduced circumstances thanks to an asshole father.

Tom's story is Stillman's story--that is what happened to him.

Succession Tom is nothing like Metropolitan Tom, even personality-wise. He's the son of some Boomer lawyers from Minneapolis who is smitten with the nouveau wealth of the Roys

by Anonymousreply 140April 1, 2023 6:33 PM

'Metropolitan' is a fantastic film, I saw it when first released in cinemas and then several times since via streaming. I wish it and 'Last Days of Disco' and 'Barcelona' were available in streaming where I live, but no, none of them.

I love the weird timelessness of the film and yet the acute sense of being of the edge of a thing about to be lost, where except for a few quite incidental set details, it could almost as easily be the 1960s, 1970s, or 1980s. Stillman's own wordy films are great, the words flowing out in long, dense paragraphs often changing course a time or two mid-course. These scenes hold up where rehearsals and reshooting were not what they could have been and reflect the energy and ideas of his young characters. I wish he had made a long career of such films, but he has produced some good and interesting work, the best of it his own.

'Metropolitan' reminds me so of my college days, the weekends in New York once or twice a month, an odd group of students some rich, some hopelessly preppy, all snobby and full of opinions beyond their years in their own ways. We would stay in the apartments of someone's sister or older brother or cousin, never met, always away on holidays somewhere, a vast West End Avenue co-op one visit, the next a shitty apartment with tiny rooms and terrible beds the only light from windows onto a filthy airshaft but in the thick of things. We drifted from one old hotel to another, occupying the bars and lobbies and ordering adult drinks; the Oyster Bar at the Plaza was ground zero, the King Cole at the St. Regis when we were especially flush or jubilant; we met celebrities at the old Russian Tea Room and everyone just assumed we were somebody's teenage kids and had some reason to be there.

I was itching to see 'Barcelona' again the other day, thinking of this bit of dialogue,

[quote][Ted]: You see, that’s one of the great things about getting involved with someone from a foreign country. You can’t take it personally. What’s really terrific is that when we act in ways which might objectively seem asshole-ish, or incredibly annoying, they don’t get upset at all. They don’t take it personally. They just assume it’s some national characteristic.

by Anonymousreply 141April 1, 2023 7:54 PM

Of course we’re not more violent - we’re just better shots.

by Anonymousreply 142April 1, 2023 8:56 PM

R141. We seem to have lived similar lives, mine has been centered in Boston and DC, same old hotels, the Oak Bar at the Copley Plaza, dancing to the Winiker Band at the Park Plaza. Third Edition and Garrett’s in DC, the National Cotillion, black tie events every weekend. It was great fun, and Metropolitan always reminds me of those times. I miss staying up all night just talking. There was even a joke about my sister’s boarding school in the movie.

by Anonymousreply 143April 1, 2023 9:48 PM

[quote] I miss staying up all night just talking.

Yes, R143. It's about that, exactly. About a time in our lives where we suddenly had things to say, so many things, all of them so serious (or at least important to say), about everything. About an expansive time where we thought circles of friends would be ever expanding and all nights would be spent discussing all thing. There were never hours enough and no conversation ever ended so much as it just suddenly displaced by another.

Stillman is at his best with those conversations, more reflectively in Last Days of Disco, more seriously in Metropolitan and Barcelona. A it of dialogue from the Chris Eigeman character in Barcelona:

[quote]FRED: Sometimes we think – we almost always assume that we’re going through life surrounded by people. And then something happens and you realize: We’re entirely alone. Tonight, while I was shaving – I always shave against the direction of the beard because I understood you got a closer shave that way. I started thinking about this razor commercial on TV which shows the hair follicles like this, going this way. The first of the twin blades cuts them here. Then the hair snaps back and the second blade catches them down here, giving you a closer, cleaner, possibly smoother shave. That we know. But what struck me was: If the hair follicles are going in this direction and the razor is too, then they’re shaving in the direction of the beard, not against it. Which would mean that I’ve been shaving the wrong way all my life. I mean, maybe that’s not so, maybe I misremembered the ad. But the point is: I could’ve shaved the wrong way all of my life and never have known it. And then I could have taught my son to shave the wrong way, without him ever knowing it either.

[quote]MARTA: You have a son?

[quote]FRED: No. But I might someday. And then, maybe I’ll teach him to shave the wrong way.

by Anonymousreply 144April 1, 2023 10:15 PM

[quote] I miss staying up all night just talking.

[quote] Yes, R143. It's about that, exactly. About a time in our lives where we suddenly had things to say, so many things, all of them so serious (or at least important to say), about everything. About an expansive time where we thought circles of friends would be ever expanding and all nights would be spent discussing all thing. There were never hours enough and no conversation ever ended so much as it just suddenly displaced by another.

The 90's were the end of an era of these kinds of intelligent movies.

After that, it became all Superhero movies, all the time.

"Before Sunrise" was another movie like what R143 and R144 described.

People having intelligent discussions, all night long.

Pondering the important things of life.

Now, it's all the about the shallow and superficial Instagram, TikTok, OnlyFans, and all that other crap.

by Anonymousreply 145April 1, 2023 11:26 PM

I agree

by Anonymousreply 146April 1, 2023 11:31 PM

R141 and R143 - how old are you guys - or what era was it that you were hanging out at these hotels?

by Anonymousreply 147April 1, 2023 11:59 PM

R147. I’m sixty now, this was in the mid-late eighties, my immediate post graduate years. There was a club called the Boston Social Club, that would throw black tie parties at swanky locations, it was great fun.

by Anonymousreply 148April 2, 2023 12:11 AM

I saw it when it came out and have rewatched it a few times. I've also seen Barcelona and The Last Days of Disco. I tried to watch Love & Friendship but couldn't get through it.

As a graduate of a major boarding school and Harvard (like Stillman), I recognize the types of people in Metropolitan. As a scholarship student who lived in an Outer Borough, I was never part of their world; for me, it's almost like watching an anthropological documentary about a dying species that is all too aware it's living on borrowed time. I find it by turns charming, funny, pretentious, and a bit too wordy. Although I liked the main characters, I never believed in their romance and toward the end never thought anything important was at stake. I thought the parallel with Mansfield Park was forced.

by Anonymousreply 149April 2, 2023 12:37 AM


The Last Days of Disco is fun if uneven. The scenes with Chloë Sevigny and Robert Sean Leonard are extremely sexy. It's not a huge part of the film, but it doesn't take mental illness very seriously.

by Anonymousreply 150April 2, 2023 12:49 AM

Damsels in Distress makes fun of suicide hotlines.

by Anonymousreply 151April 2, 2023 1:33 AM

R151 In Metropolitan, IIRC, one of the characters had a nervous breakdown in college that required hospitalization. He recovered, finished college, went to law school, and is now working in the DA's office. A jerky character (played by Eigeman?) tries to use the information to extort the lawyer but the lawyer says he told the DA's office about his history when he applied for the job. But then in another scene, the lawyer pretends his episode was no big deal.

by Anonymousreply 152April 2, 2023 4:12 AM


Sorry, I meant The Last Days of Disco, not Metropolitan.

by Anonymousreply 153April 2, 2023 4:14 AM

[quote]The Last Days of Disco is fun if uneven. The scenes with Chloë Sevigny and Robert Sean Leonard are extremely sexy. It's not a huge part of the film, but it doesn't take mental illness very seriously.

But something I like—which Farran Smith Nehme points out in her video essay on the three films in the Criterion box—is that Josh's mental illness is presented as "a" fact about him, not "the" fact about him. There's more to him than a condition.

Matt Keeslar, who played that character, later left acting. He's now a physician's assistant in the Pacific Northwest.

Does anyone here know who the original Josh was, who was so unpleasant to work with that he was let go? All I know is that it was someone who was at Juilliard at the same time as Keeslar. Stillman asked Keeslar if he would have any hesitation about taking over a role from a friend, and Keeslar told him, essentially, we both went to Juilliard, but that guy is no friend of mine; no one could stand him there either.

by Anonymousreply 154April 2, 2023 5:42 AM

[quote]how old are you guys - or what era was it that you were hanging out at these hotels?

R147, I'm 62. The peak NYC hotel hopping was 1977-1979, my first two years at college, all of us in an early admission program. The discovery of our hotel hangouts was from a mixture of knowledge, curiosity, and sometimes dumb luck as we were from a mix of backgrounds united more by test scores than by social class. There was always a friend or two who had a boozy broker uncle or someone who would treat us all to a long lunch, a sort of adult anchor to our wanderings.

Through college whenever I had to meet proper adults for some research project, we would meet for the first time in some classic hotel lobby, the palm court, under the bronze clock... I have a fondness for these spaces to this day, however much they may have changed.

by Anonymousreply 155April 2, 2023 5:57 AM

I’ve also just discovered “coffee,” a zesty hot beverage made of hot water poured over ground beans. It’s so wonderful as a pick me up in the morning!

Has anyone else tried this splendid drink?

by Anonymousreply 156April 2, 2023 6:12 AM

Poor anti-social R156.

Always out to ruin other peoples' good time.

How does it feel being a total loser and a major buzz kill?

by Anonymousreply 157April 2, 2023 6:49 AM

I enjoy the movie but I like the Pierre Le-Tan poster even more.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 158April 2, 2023 7:18 AM

I love it

by Anonymousreply 159April 2, 2023 12:53 PM


In Frank McCourt's 'Tis, he writes about being a young man with no money who worked as a janitor at a big hotel that was a kind of clubhouse for rich college kids in NYC for the weekend. They'd meet up on Friday evening, have drinks and make plans. He seethed with envy.

by Anonymousreply 160April 2, 2023 2:43 PM

Why did they have to see each other every night?

by Anonymousreply 161April 2, 2023 2:46 PM

Because none of them knew what calamitous things might happen if they didn't?

That's my guess, R161.

by Anonymousreply 162April 2, 2023 2:49 PM

as I recall it was sort of a winter break, you either hung with your friends, your parents (UGH) or well, studied? the Chris Eigeman character actually heads back to school near the end

by Anonymousreply 163April 2, 2023 2:57 PM

[quote] Why did they have to see each other every night?

I only saw the movie once, but if I remember correctly, the movie was set during "Deb Week" or something like that, where there are a series of NY debutante social events that take place around Christmas and New Year's, culminating in some grand ball (The International Debutante Ball) which only the most connected people can attend.

That's why Nick was the only one who could attend that event, and the others had to watch it on television.

And they hung around each other because they girls needed "escorts" for the social events that took place that week. Nick sort of explained it to Tom, but only briefly.

So basically, it's like Superbowl of "High Society."

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by Anonymousreply 164April 2, 2023 2:58 PM

Looks like the International Debutante Ball is still a thing.

I guess it didn't die out, like the movie predicted.

Here's a photo from 2012.

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by Anonymousreply 165April 2, 2023 3:09 PM

antiquated but not surprising or the upper classes

by Anonymousreply 166April 2, 2023 6:33 PM


I thought it was called "Hell Week" or something similar.

by Anonymousreply 167April 2, 2023 7:36 PM

Nothing with Robert Sean Leonard or Chloe Sevigny could possibly be “sexy.” They’ve both had solid careers but neither have become big stars for a reason.

by Anonymousreply 168April 4, 2023 5:54 PM

R48 / FatCubeFrau, are you a lesbian? I have started to dig you. Seriously.

by Anonymousreply 169April 4, 2023 6:44 PM

She was likely an original cast member

by Anonymousreply 170April 5, 2023 1:04 AM

I enjoyed his trilogy about young melancholic WASPs adjusting to changing times. He managed to make them endearing and humanize them rather than the cliche. It reminded me of JD Salinger's works. I think of Wes Anderson as a more optimistic successor of sorts.

by Anonymousreply 171April 5, 2023 1:07 AM

R168, Scrooge McDuck is very sexy.

by Anonymousreply 172April 6, 2023 12:46 PM

Sexually inexperienced woman and rapist find each other.

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by Anonymousreply 173April 6, 2023 12:50 PM

two cold fish giving each other VD

by Anonymousreply 174April 6, 2023 12:51 PM

Robert Sean Leonard reliving his "Last Days of Disco" moves on "House" as Dr. Wilson

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by Anonymousreply 175April 6, 2023 12:58 PM

RSL interacts with men better than women

by Anonymousreply 176April 6, 2023 1:34 PM

[quote] Robert Sean Leonard reliving his "Last Days of Disco" moves on "House" as Dr. Wilson

I remember that Datalouge used to be obsessed with his nose hair, back in the day.

by Anonymousreply 177April 6, 2023 2:35 PM

I’m quite disappointed in DL, RSL was a sex god.

by Anonymousreply 178April 6, 2023 2:51 PM

he's a hairy nose boy

by Anonymousreply 179April 6, 2023 3:42 PM

Robert Sean Leonard is one of the dullest actors ever committed to celluloid.

by Anonymousreply 180April 6, 2023 4:17 PM

You people are SICK and probably hate Monty too.

by Anonymousreply 181April 6, 2023 4:18 PM

RSL could have probably had a bigger career in the 90s if he wanted to. He had a strong start in My Best Friend Is A Vampire, Dead Poets Society and was cast in Much Ado About Nothing. He just felt more comfortable in theatre and indie flicks and did House for a solid run.

by Anonymousreply 182April 6, 2023 5:16 PM

RSL was a character actor. It was apparent from the very beginning, and trying to shoehorn him into a lead was never going to work.

by Anonymousreply 183April 6, 2023 5:39 PM

Well at least he gave Sevigny G and H.

by Anonymousreply 184April 6, 2023 5:45 PM


He's not a rapist. There's nothing to suggest the sex wasn't consensual. He seems perfect until he turns into a jerk the next day.

by Anonymousreply 185April 6, 2023 9:27 PM


I couldn't keep my eyes off him.

by Anonymousreply 186April 6, 2023 9:28 PM

I could not remember the plot exactly, R173. I just remember he was a jerk when Chloe spoke to him afterward.

by Anonymousreply 187April 6, 2023 11:19 PM

[quote] I couldn't keep my eyes off him.

I couldn't keep my eyes off his nose hairs.

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by Anonymousreply 188April 7, 2023 4:15 PM

long and lush

by Anonymousreply 189April 8, 2023 1:46 PM

[quote]I could not remember the plot exactly, [R173]. I just remember he was a jerk when Chloe spoke to him afterward.

In part because Charlotte undermined Alice with bad advice on how to behave with him. Charlotte is a pretty awful friend, although Beckinsale makes her amusing and charismatic.

RSL's character (Tom?) had liked Alice more when she was being herself. Of course, his distaste for her "I live dangerously...on the edge!" act didn't keep him from sleeping with her. He had baggage with an offscreen love interest.

by Anonymousreply 190April 9, 2023 4:36 AM
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