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Hurlyburly

Director:Anthony Drazen
Writer: David Rabe
Fine Line; R; 122 minutes
Release:12/98
Cast:Sean Penn , Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright Penn, Chazz Palminteri, Garry Shandling, Anna Paquin, and Meg Ryan

“I am not so dumb as to be ignorant of the vast hordes of creeps running loose in California,” muses disheveled party girl Bonnie (Ryan). And, let's face it, neither are we. So why Hurlyburly? Adapted from a David Rabe play, this film maintains the verbal wit and sparring of the original but fails to make use of cinematic space. Simply because these various Hollywood lowlifes can discourse with such diction does not make their drug-induced shoutfests any more captivating. Eddie (Sean Penn) is the central figure, a neurotic casting agent doing his best to navigate the vertiginous moodswings that accompany his taste for a certain white powder. He's surrounded by a motley assortment of (highly articulate) misogynist degenerates played by Spacey, Shandling, and Palminteri. These churlish boys and the women who, er, love them, are as intriguing and attractive as baby snakes. And it's a little sad seeing Ryan try to escape her typecast cuteness without success. All in all, elevated language wed to immature speakers comes off as a shallow theatrical hoax.


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