Brief movie reviews:
Josh Hartnett has to carry most of this movie. It is about the rise and fall of one entrepreneurial young man and his more conservative brother, in the heady days of the dot.com bubble. The dialogue has a lot of insider business mumbo-jumbo that is supposed to explain what was going on. It didn’t, at least for this outsider. Harnett does his best acting when he is called upon to interpret the depression, loneliness, and lack of direction that happens when one involuntarily looses a job. This saves the movie from being a total disaster.
The cast includes:
• Jon Foster as Art Bechstein: The well-manner, intelligent son of a Jewish gangster who gets caught up in a tangled love triangle with Jane and Cleveland, as well as an affair with Phlox.
• Sienna Miller as Jane Bellwether: Cleveland's girlfriend. In the novel, Jane is a minor character but has been elevated to leading lady in Thurber's adaptation.
• Peter Sarsgaard as Cleveland Arning: Jane's rebellious bisexual boyfriend, with whom Art becomes involved. In the novel, Cleveland is an entirely heterosexual character, but in adapting the film, he became merged with the homosexual character Arthur Lecomte, one of the novel's key love interests.
• Mena Suvari as Phlox Lombardi: A strange girl who works at the book shop who becomes romantically involved with Art. In the novel, she is one of the main romantic interests along with Arthur, but her role is greatly reduced in the adaptation.
• Nick Nolte as Joe Bechstein: Art's father is a Jewish gangster who is disappointed with his son's choices, and would like him to become a stockbroker.
In Pittsburgh, affairs with Jane (Sienna Miller) drive both of her lovers, Cleveland and Art, into bisexuality.
This is a really bad movie, in spite of me being a fan of all things Pittsburgh. Jon Foster seems to be doing an impression of Keanu Reeves on a sedative. Sienna Miller, while attractive, generates little excitement. Sarsgaard is the best of the bunch. Read the plot summary- it describes how silly the plot really is. Foster and Sarsgaard play a gay love scene. They both appear to be laughing while doing “it.” It was totally unconvincing. No wonder the film was a box office bomb.
This is an ok movie. Its amazing to be reminded of how many songs Cole Porter wrote that are in the popular cultural memory. Kevin Kline, as Porter, and the beautiful Ashley Judd, as Ms. Thomas are good in their respective roles. The appliances used to age them are very believable. The period costuming is well done. There is something about the photography that just doesn’t seem to fit the movie. The colors, especially at the film’s end, are sharp and vibrant in contrast to the somber themes. Porter’s relationship with his wife was interesting. He had repeated gay encounters, but, at least as portrayed in the move, they loved each other with every fiber of their beings. They were true soul mates. The relationship harkens to that portrayed in the movie “Carrington” about the relationship between the title character and Lytton Strachey.
Many contemporary singers are used on the sound track of De-Lovely. They include:
1. "It's De-Lovely" performed by Robbie Williams
2. "Let's Do It (Let's Fall In Love)" performed by Alanis Morissette
3. "Begin The Beguine" performed by Sheryl Crow
4. "Let's Misbehave" performed by Elvis Costello
5. "Be a Clown" performed by Kevin Kline, Peter Polycarpou, and Chorus
6. "Night and Day" performed by John Barrowman
7. "Easy to Love" performed by Kevin Kline
8. "True Love" by Ashley Judd and Tayler Hamilton
9. "What Is This Thing Called Love?" performed by Lemar
10. "I Love You" performed by Mick Hucknall
11. "Just One of Those Things" performed by Diana Krall
12. "Anything Goes" performed by Caroline O'Connor
13. "Experiment" performed by Kevin Kline
14. "Love for Sale" performed by Vivian Green
15. "So In Love" performed by Lara Fabian and Mario Frangoulis
16. "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye" performed by Natalie Cole
17. "Blow, Gabriel, Blow" performed by Jonathan Pryce, Kevin Kline, Cast, and Chorus
18. "In the Still of the Night" performed by Kevin Kline and Ashley Judd
19. "You're The Top" performed by Cole Porter
Some were terribly mismatched to the material. Listening to Sheryl Crow crow “Begin the Beguine” was a horrible experience. She has limited skills as a singer, and each limitation was highlighted by the music. Morrisette, on the other hand, was credible in “Let’s Do It.” Robbie Williams did a credible job also. By far, Natalie Cole is the best- she understands the music and has a voice that compliments it.