Through The Peephole Anew

In the category of Trailing Edge Film Reviews, I rented The People I Know, a 2002 movie starring Al Pacino, Kim Basinger and Tea Leoni (and back from the dead, Ryan O’Neal).

If I wanted to knock it, I could say that it was just Pacino doing a remake of Carlito’s Way set in the Upper West Side. And that point is indisputable.

But the film has depth, with the usual great performance by Al, a very endearing Kim (she can do this childlike smile that makes you feel glad to be alive) and Tea at her most magnificent – now that is one underrated actress, always solid at minimum, often inspired.

What stands out for Republican types is the relentless scourging of all the liberal totems. Come to think of it, perhaps that accounts for its laggardness at the box office.

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3 thoughts on “Through The Peephole Anew

  1. Jay, “scourging of liberal totems” is usually good for a film’s box office. I haven’t seen the film,so I cannot say anything about its quality. Perhaps the distributor just dumped it without any promotion.—STK

  2. To take your points in reverse order.

    1) Yes, a definite distributor dump; it certainly passed beneath my radar in ’02. But even that is usually a sign that the critics have squashed it so badly that Mr. Moneybags wants to hit the sack to sleep it off, but not hit the money sack for some more kale.

    2) Yes, creating a conservative family-oriented good-guys-win vibe is good box office, but is social satire directed in subtle ways at Leftist cultural icons? Not at all sure.

    3) One of the ironies of movies that do that sort of scourging is that they are often fearful of marketing themselves that way for offending the cultural community. They think they’ll sell it as a slice of New Yorkiana (“eight million ways to die in the naked city”) to get the libs, and the cons will know to come because they whisper to each other.

    In Yiddish they say: “Don’t try to dance at two weddings the same night.” You just might miss both.

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