Love & Friendship. If you like Jane Austen and/or Whit Stillman, you can’t go wrong here. Chatty, witty, gossipy. Things really pick up when Sir James Martin appears. It’s like someone tossed a confetti bomb into the room. I should watch more chamber pieces.
The other first thing you notice is the vibe of Peanuts Take Manhattan. Metropolitan exists in a world populated solely by children and, moreover, by children who act comically adult-like. Parents are rarely mentioned, and even more rarely in-scene. (“I don’t think I’ve met anyone’s parents,” Tom notes.)
Good appreciation here. I need to watch Metropolitan again. I’ve liked all of the Whit Stillman movies I’ve seen.
Metropolitan, or How I Learned to Stop Kvetching and Love Christmas by Ben Mauk
Barcelona. I think it’s the weakest of the three loosely-related movies (Metropolitan is great; The Last Days of Disco is really enjoyable, too.), but there’s plenty to like. I appreciate the layers of themes. You’ve got two cousins working out how to be family. They each are figuring out their careers and romantic relationships. And they as Americans are navigating what it means to be a foreigner. Along with other less character-specific stuff like ‘80s self-help/management trends. Whit Stillman is a good writer. Ebert says.
The Last Days of Disco. I loved Whit Stillman’s Metropolitan. (At this point I might as well complete the semi-trilogy with Barcelona). This one isn’t quite as fun or funny as Metropolitan, but it still has that same well-paced, compulsively watchable slice-of-life-ness to it. Some of the old characters reappear, slightly older, but still as earnest and floundering and full of shit. Sevigny’s character Alice is the most grounded of the lot. Worthwhile. And it’s got an UNDENIABLE SOUNDTRACK. Criterion essay. Ebert says:
The underlying tone of the film is sweet, fond and a little sad: These characters believe the disco period was the most wonderful period of their lives, and we realize that it wasn’t disco that was so special, but youth.
Metropolitan. I loved it. What we have is a modern-day drawing room film/comedy of manners, with upper-crusty Manhattanite teens inviting a misfit into their fold. They go back and forth from debutante balls to house parties, gossiping and verbally jousting all the while. It’s very dialogue-heavy (they almost all speak in long, precise sentences, processing their emotions and ideals and the failings of society) and very funny. I think you could compare it favorably to Annie Hall or Manhattan, but with a younger cast. Ebert says. Criterion essay.