I've read a lot of feedback to this film, which is by and large rather negative. I've noticed that people who dislike the characters occupying Hurlyburly often criticize the film itself as a result. We are not intended to embrace the lifestyles of these characters. This is a picture that encompasses a sub-culture and the neuroses of certain types of people. It is an intelligent, articulate piece with a venomous sense of cynicism and blunt sensibility. The men focused on are self-obsessed chauvinists, but they are not reduced to amplification of their flaws. Their pain and dilemmas are familiar, and they serve towards an unnerving portrait of emptiness. I loved this movie because I love great acting. Watching what some of these actors do with the script is so exciting and astonishing, particularly the brilliant Sean Penn. The writing and performances are phenomenal, but this is a movie that probably only appeals to people who like stage-oriented pieces.
Clever dialogue, great cinematics, and rolling plotlines. Those who appreciate educated English, method acting, and well-rounded characters, will enjoy this film. If all you want is hip hop slang and Bruckheimer action, go elsewhere.
This film contains some quintessential performances by Penn and Spacey, and even serves to redeem seriously second and third tier actors like Chazz Palminteri (level two) and Robin Wright, Garry Shandling, and even Meg Ryan (level three). All that and Anna Paquin plays basically a coked up run-away underage hooker. This film has basically everything you could want to see about a bunch of drug-addled, complete misogynistic prick, Hollywood scumbag producers. Brilliant.
5.5/10. Fine cast, nicely acted, but Sean Penn overacts a bit. Very depressing and unpleasant film. It's biggest flaw is not getting the audiences involved in the characters. You really don't care what happens to any of these nasty people. Not the easiest film to like.