The Business of Strangers Reviews
Stockard Channing gives a great performance and Julia Stiles somehow manages not to embarass herself.
Stiles plays Stockard Channing's assistant. During an out of town meeting the assistant is fired,but when Channing is promoted, they meet up in the hotel bar and try to make amends. It turns mean is clearly meant to be a female version of "In the Company of Men."
"The Business of Strangers" challenges both corporate America and simultaneously confronts the issue of postmodern feminism in the corporate world (i.e.- predominant, male occupations). While it is true that this view is taken on the defensive of feminism (through a deranged, uniquely feminist character), the effectiveness of the film's universality is steady. Neither Stockard Channing nor Julia Stiles are, then, portraying characters too far from their cinematic realm, especially considering their past roles; all the more, these characters seem made for them.
It is nearly impossible to describe the plot of this movie without disclosing the point if its existence, and while that may be true of a lot of movies, "Strangers" is very simple, short, and direct. Drawing this story out would have been suicide for the filmmakers and studios, and excruciating for the audience, but it's a solid hour and twenty minutes.
Much like "Pretty Persuasion" (certainly one of my favorites), the agenda of the wayward character (in this case, Stiles) isn't fully realized until the end; although, an intelligent audience can see it coming before its arrival, we end up watching the other character (Channing) awaken to this conclusion with a consuming fascination.
The actors do a well-enough job during the plot's roughly 15 hour time span, keeping the audience curiously involved and then begin to question our sympathies with characters who bloom into creatures of unlikable forwardness.
To exercise my miniscule-complaint-card as a critic, I noticed no one in this movie finished a drink (on screen, at least). Now, many were ordered and many were sipped, even two that cost 20 bucks a glass, but never finished. This is, for me, the equivalent of putting mail in your mailbox and then not raising the flag... silly, but ever presently annoying.