The Impostors (1999)
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Critic Reviews for The Impostors
Slight but creative little comedy.
Sputtering like a two-day old campfire, the story plays like an ad-lib sketch that was never polished or completed.
For every inspired character and performance, there are duds.
Audience Reviews for The Impostors
Campbell Scott is hilarious in the supporting role and ends up stealing every scene he is in.
This is a star studded tribute to the slapstick comedic farces of the 1930s, and a real labor of love for its writer/director/producer, and star Stanley Tucci. He, along with Oliver Platt, play a Laurel and Hardyesque pair of out of work actors struggling to scrape by in Depression-Era NYC, mostly by way of petty cons and swindles. After incurring the wrath of an overrated drunken actor, the two mistakenly stow away aboard an ocean liner where the actor after them also happens to be. And not only do they get caught up with having to avoid him, but they find themselves continually caught up in a series of ever escalating over-the-top madcap shenanigans involving the eclectic passengers and crew of the ship, many of whom aren't what they initially seem, hence the film's title being The Impostors. In many ways this feels like a high class Woody Allen film that Woody didn't write and direct. Interestingly enough, he actually makes a hilarious uncredited cameo here. This is a real love letter to the 30s slapstick comedies, as well as the silent era, as evidenced by the film's opening scene. All in all I liked it. I'm not a huge fan of slapstick, but I found this to be overwhelmingly charming, funny, and absurd. There's really not much of a plot, but I think that's more of a benefit than a detriment. It's really hard to care too much about many of these people, but I don't think that's the point. I think the main focus is just on the absurd and ridiculous comedy of life, and how existence is full of all kinds of diverse and nutty people. And the cast is where this film really shines. Besides Tucci and Platt, there's also Steve Buscemi, Billy Connolly, Campbell Scott, Allison Janney, Richard Jenkins, Alfred Molina, Elizabeth Bracco, Lili Taylor, Hope Davis, Dana Ivey, Tony Shaloub, Isabella Rossellini, and a few others I'm probably forgetting. They all seem to be having an absolute blast here, and exhibit some great chemistry, as well as a flair for the material. The period details are pretty decent, there's a wonderfully nostalgic score, and the overall sense of energy and fun is just bursting all over the place. It did take me a bit to get into things, and I was a bit taken back until I realized what type of movie this was going to be, but once I got into it, and things really kicked in, I ended up having a pretty good time, and think you might enjoy it as well.
A great SciFi with a twisting end which will blow your socks off. lol
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