27 May 1999 | Nick D
Subtle and hilarious
Caught this movie on Sundance Channel, couldn't believe how good it was. Why wasn't it released? Or was it? (There are too many indie movies out there, I guess...) The movie is basically about a bunch of control freaks at a new year's Eve party in New York City, all of whom are fantastically well drawn anxiety-filled New Yorkers. Director Davis has caught New Yorkers' self-absorption perfectly, but unlike, say, Seinfeld, the characters are actually trying to better themselves, and struggling with real, deep issues of identity and self-worth. And unlike Whit Stillman's movies (which I guess this is like, although I enjoyed it way more than Metropolitan), the movie really knows when to laugh at these characters, and when to feel with them.
And then, for good measure, there are Steven Wright and Buck Henry giving unexpected and wonderful performances. Steven Wright is amazingly funny, and Buck Henry really sad and sensitive, kind of in the Jack Lemmon role of the father of the host of the party, only doing a real job of acting, not whining like Lemmon now does.
I haven't heard much about this movie (other than Sundance Channel) or this filmmaker, but I bet that in ten years we'll all be scratching our heads trying to remember who Ed Burns was (wish I could say the same thing for Kevin Smith, but the guy's too much of an operator to go away) and plunking down our cash, if it is cash we're still using (the movie is very funny about what the near future might or might not hold, and has me thinking the same way) to go to movies by Nick Davis.