14 May 2009 | st-shot
Jaglom brings his whine fest to the Hamptons.
Henry Jaglom is the Woody Allen light (0 calories, 0 talent) of American film. His films (most of which he writes) are filled with unctuous pseudo intellectuals who do a vast amount of talking and very little listening. Filled with self importance they name drop ferociously and go from dull and tiresome conversation into mawkish rages that border on infantile.
In Last Summer in the Hamptons we are given the same crowd, this time as a theatrical family faced with selling there Long Island estate. Along with friends they all gather at the home for the last performance of the annual summer's end play. Enter your cross section cast of smarmy empty self important characters. The Matriarch, the Hollywood actress, father son playwrights at odds with each other and assorted precocious types age 16 to 60. Jaglom then patches the rest of the film together with mix and match conversations done in mostly two shot with some of the most annoying use of zoom this side of Spike Lee.
The dialogue which sounds like it was mostly improvised is stilted and flat save for some hammy flourishes by Viveca Lindfors. As Oona the LA actress, Victoria Foyt acts as if she's stranded on a raft in the middle of the ocean, clumsily pausing and searching for words, groping the other actors as if drowning. Given co-writer credit you would think she might have a better grasp of the script.
The rest of the cast is equally unremarkable because of Jaglom's sloppy inability as a director to get his actors to raise the heat above tepid. It's clear Jaglom's working on a shoestring budget knows a few people in the business and makes the most of what he has. I usually admire scrappy auteurs like Herzog and Fuller who have to sacrifice for their independence, but with that freedom must come form, content and talent, none of which Jaglom displays in this pompous loser.