Pretentious, artsy, unsubtle, and tremendously boring
This is one of the most boring movies I have ever watched all the way through. It is pretentious and artsy-craftsy to the nth degree. There are long stretches of film with no dialogue whatever, just actors looking at each "meaningfully" or scenes of Italian city streets. It takes about 10 minutes to "get" Antonioni's message that life is meaningless, humans are unable to communicate meaningfully with each other, and urban life leads to complete alienation. After that, it is pounded into you over and over for the next two hours. There is no ending to the film; it just stops (finally). I cannot believe that IMDb viewers give this movie an 8.2 average score - I rate it a 2.
A quirky "small" movie for people who like good movies
I just saw a free "prescreening" of this movie at the Motion Picture Association screening room in Washington DC. Apparently this movie is being re-released. Don't know if it's any different from the version released last year, which I didn't see. Anyway, I highly recommend it. This is a movie for adults, with interesting characters, fine performances by Robert Forster, Donnie Wahlberg and Bess Armstrong in the leads, and an entertaining, unpredictable storyline about a 60-ish wholesale diamond salesman (Forster) who has to break in a 20-ish rookie salesman (Wahlberg) to take over his job servicing jewelry stores throughout central Pennsylvania. Armstrong plays a masseuse and sometime prostitute who becomes the love interest of the older man.
This is one of those quirky "small" films with no big name stars, which probably won't do nearly as well at the box office as it deserves to. It focuses on character development and telling a story, with no special effects or shoot-outs or car crashes. I was most surprised by Donnie Wahlberg, who showed himself to be a much more attractive and nuanced actor than his more famous brother Mark.
Go see this if it opens at a theater near you. If it ends up going quickly to video, then rent it. You won't be sorry.
If you have never seen the original 1967 film with Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, this movie would seem okay. The premise is still amusing, but the execution here is lacking. Ms. Hurley is nice to look at, but that's about all you can say for her.
On the other hand, Raquel Welch was nice to look at in the original playing the part of Lust, PLUS Peter Cook with his sardonic smile and casual bits of deviltry was the perfect Satan, and Dudley Moore was great as the poor sap caught in his clutches. It's still available at Blockbuster. Please, please, please: don't waste your time on the remake, which is inferior in every way; go rent the original!