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Flawless

Director/Writer:Joel Schumacher
MGM; R; 110 minutes
Release:11/99
Cast:Robert DeNiro, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Barry Miller

A flamboyant transvestite going-on transsexual (Philip Seymour Hoffman) must give voice lessons to his stroke-patient neighbor, a homophobic ex-cop (Robert DeNiro). Previously each had suffered as the other's insufferable neighbor in their Manhattan apartment building. This is perhaps the first flaw in Flawless: fleshing out the commonalities between stereotyped characters may be a worthwhile endeavor, but it doesn't lend itself to innovative filmmaking.

Both leads perform well, without surprises, making the best of a distracting thug-drug subplot. To its credit, Flawless maintains a distance between the two men; their conceptions of masculinity irritate and intrigue the other too much to slip into buddy-buddy repartee (scathing one-liners being Hoffman's weapon of choice).


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