Another Brendan recommendation, this one rather less overtly contentious than Tom Green’s epic. David Mamet and I do not have a good strike rate so far. Of the various films written (or adapted from his work) and/or directed by him, I reckon I’ve now seen The Untouchables, Wag the Dog, Ronin, Hannibal, Spartan and Edmond, and liked only the second-named of those. This didn’t exactly fill me with confidence going into this one despite Brendan’s recommendation, though to be sure it does have a better rep than Freddy Got Fingered… Anyway, into the player goes the DVD, and it doesn’t take long for Jack Lemmon’s character to remind me of Gil Gunderson from The Simpsons, and with good reason, cos apparently Gil was indeed inspired by this film. Unfortunately, once I’d made that connection, I found it oddly hard to sympathise with the Levene character in the way I was obviously supposed to, and none of the other inhabitants of the film exactly gave me much to care about or be interested in. Plus, considering the plot revolves about the possibility of real estate men losing their jobs, I was puzzled as to why Kevin Spacey’s character isn’t one of them given his own ho-hum running of the office. And, well, it’s a play, isn’t it? By which I mean the film doesn’t do much to cover its origins, indeed it seems determined to hit you over the head that this is Great Acting in Great Theatre. I don’t care.
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