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The best comedy movie ever made!
Metropolitan is the “story” of a group of socialite friends who like to party together. Except it seems their idea of partying is sitting around and talking and occasionally playing a game. The loose attempt at a plot revolves around a new addition to their group who ostensibly isn’t in the same financial standing as the rest of the group despite the fact that he seems perfectly fine getting an entirely new wardrobe, going places with them, and never working at a job. Honestly, I don’t know if any of these people work, because we don’t see any of them living a life outside of the group. Their existence seems to be entirely made up of talking about themselves and others who interact with their inner circle. It’s like watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians, but with less manufactured drama. Needless to say I hated these people. The cast is entirely made up of no-name actors, most of whom I’ve never seen before. That’s probably for good reason, because none of them can act. It’s worse than watching a bad acting class, because they all are emotionless and bland for 90 minutes. It felt like either they were given the direction to act bored before every scene they shot and there were competitions to see who could be the least interesting, or they just cast random people off the street who have never acted a day in their lives. It’s terribly hard to care about any of the characters because it’s like trying to care about blocks of wood (blocks of wood that are startlingly self-centered, too.) The romantic relationships all fall flat because no one can effectively convey how they are feeling at any given moment, so I struggled to even feign interest in their petty love triangles. Plus they aren’t people who are sympathetic in any way, so I couldn’t care less about what happened to them. There was a certain point in Metropolitan when I started to root for something to happen in the film. Let a character die, have an earthquake bury them in rubble, or just have them interact with normal human beings in something that might resemble real life instead of this weird exclusive society they form. Sadly, the movie continued to disappoint. Even when you expect something exciting, they manage to suck it dry of all entertainment. I never imagined I could be bored by people playing strip poker until now. The final scene of the movie comes close to actual drama. It’s the first big moment that promised confrontation and excitement. That lasted about 30 seconds, didn’t amount to much, and then the film returned to the same dull tone again. I feel like I’m missing something about Metropolitan, because it seems to be highly-rated and is even labeled as a comedy, but I didn’t get the humor unless the joke was on me for watching it.
A nice, charming film, simple and with a tinge of intellectual flavor to it. It's all about a group of young people gathering together and having conversations on different topics, meanwhile experiencing some romantic feelings, and this is the most tasty thing about the movie. They discuss them with pertaining to the youth eagerness and innocence. That way the grow much faster.
Metropolitan was made for a low budget, $421,399 in today's money, and there are times when it shows, but in the end it doesn't matter. Stillman gives a movie that not only shows us the life of the rich teenagers, but lets us relate to them. They're just like all teenagers, unsure, way too confident in their decisions, and likely to make mistakes. They're insecure beings trying their best to hide it. In a way, we all are, and that is the genius of this film
OK, have now seen the Stillman trilogy - and would rank them in this descending order: "Barcelona," "Metropolitan," "The Last Days of Disco," not the order of production & release. "Barcelona" particularly benefits from its location. All are good in an ultra chatty forshadowing-of-"Gossip Girl" way. It's interesting how tolerant, graceful, pleasant, intelligent, attractive, & desirable are Stillman's female cast members in the trilogy. Not so much for the guys who seem undeserving of their female companionship, nuts of the limp wimp tree. But Stillman's got an ear for dialogue of a particular kind - and these films are all about the dialogue. Worthwhile if you like intelligent introspective repartee. | ~ Norm de Guerre
A highly original script filled with intelligent dialogue. A middle class teenager is thrust, somewhat unwittingly, into the lives of his upper class peers during the tumultuous height of the winter debutante ball season. Whit Stillman's magnificent effort still holds up decades later. One of the finest examples of a writer / Director following his own vision through to completion. Should have won the Oscar for best original screenplay but lost out to Patrick Swayze's body in "Ghost".
Premier film de Whit Stillman, Metropolitan ne fait aucun doute quant à son géniteur. On y retrouve sa manière bien à lui d'agencer ses films, suite de scènes extrêmement écrites, dans un langage rendant le film aussi beau aux yeux qu'à l'oreille, qui n'ont en commun que les personnages, entrecoupées de cartons, avec l'arrivée d'un outsider comme point d'ouverture. Les acteurs, dont la plupart n'a pas fait carrière ensuite, sont pourtant excellents, tout spécialement Chris Eigeman dans le rôle du cynique de service. Les choix de bande-son de Stillman renforcent le côté comique du film, qui ne se base pas sur des punchlines en fin de séquences mais sur une accumulation de dialogues entre cette bande de fils d'aristocrates new-yorkais dans les 80s. Dès son premier film, Stillman imposait son style si réjouissant.
bourgeoisie teens coming of age story in the late 80s NYC. End of era.
It takes a bold man to craft a film around a group of really snotty, spoiled teenage Manhattanites, but Whit Stillman did just that with 1990's Metropolitan. He judges these characters without coming across as too judgmental, crafts them in a way that they deserve our scorn and sympathy simultaneously. It's a tricky line to walk, and on the whole, Stillman emerges unscathed. But this isn't the kind of film that's going to wrap you up tight and kiss you goodnight-unless you are one of these bridge-playing, tuxedo-wearing, scotch-swilling preppies, in which case you'll probably feel right at home.
It's debutante season on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, and the "Sally Fowler Rat Pack" (named after the young woman whose apartment is the group's most frequented hangout) is set to meet for the first time this year for socialization and polite debate. Almost accidentally, Tom Townsend (Edward Clements), a young man of much more meager means than the rest of the gang, joins them and really shakes up the discussion. Tom deplores gatherings like this, and says he only attended to be polite and to see if his preconceived notions were true. He declines an invitation to the group's next get-together, but has a change of heart when he learns one of the young women, Audrey (Carolyn Farina), is quite interested in him. He's also taken under the wing of Nick (Christopher Eigeman), one of the group's most outspoken members. Soon, Tom is a card-carrying member of the SFRP, which later redefines itself as the "urban haute bourgeoisie" or UHB. They debate the merits of French socialism and Jane Austen, and in the process, they fight, separate, and ultimately, learn a few important lessons about friendship and identity.
Despite being not quite as prattish as his new group of companions, Tom remains a very distant protagonist. He leads us through this bizarre, almost antiquated world-and we also get a glimpse of what real life looks like for him-but we never develop much of a bond with him. This is no doubt Stillman's intention, but it also makes it a little hard for us to view these people with much sincerity. Audrey is probably the most relatable character present, but she too embraces this chilly lifestyle, making true sympathy almost impossible.
But something happens about two-thirds of the way through Metropolitan that changes a few of these characters in a profound way. It all connects to two outlying members of their social circle-the incredibly named Rick Von Sloneker (Will Kempe) and Serena Slocum (Elizabeth Thompson). The former is a slimy playboy, the latter a man-eater in every sense of the word. The bonds of the SFRP are stretched almost to the limit by these two individuals, and not necessarily in the ways you might expect. Films like this often inject conflict that's of a sexual nature, but Metropolitan keeps things more civil. What these young men and women go through is a character-building experience, and some of them might not recognize themselves on the other side.
Working with a budget of just $100,000, Stillman's mise en scene is subdued. His lighting is natural, and his sets aren't quite as opulent as you might think, considering the characters' wealth. He's also working with a crew of unknown actors, most of whom perform their roles quite admirably. The standout is perhaps Eigeman, whose Nick is one of the gang's brashest individuals. Clements, again, is a bit more passive than perhaps he ought to be, though both he and Farina sell their repressed feelings of attraction (which may or may not be for each another).
To those unfamiliar with Stillman's sensibilities, I urge a little caution. If you don't appreciate Woody Allen's comedic touch, you'll probably find Metropolitan a bore. The characters, their neuroticism, and their sense of entitlement is very much reminiscent of Allen. The only difference is that they're younger and more well off than an Annie Hall or an Alvy Singer. As such, Stillman's film is ultimately one that's more interesting than enjoyable and one that I'm appreciating more upon reflection than I did in the moment.
I'm glad I found this little gem--I'm a sucker for films with sharp, witty dialogue, and Metropolitan has plenty of it. This exchange in particular had me chortling:
Charlie: Fourierism was tried in the late nineteenth century... and it failed. Wasn't Brookfarm Fourierist? It failed.
Tom: That's debatable.
Charlie: Whether Brookfarm failed?
Tom: That it ceased to exist, I'll grant you, but whether or not it failed cannot be definitively said.
Charlie: Well, for me, ceasing to exist is - is failure. I mean, that's pretty definitive.
Tom: Well, everyone ceases to exist. Doesn't mean everyone's a failure.