Reviewed byMatthew G Horner (email@example.com)Vote: 7/10/10
The movie is episodic and depends too much on the viewer's having priorknowledge of the life of Dorothy Parker and her literary friends. Itssavinggrace is Jennifer Jason Leigh as Mrs. Parker. Her only flaw is that, intrying to look and sound like Parker, her dialog is often hard tounderstand. Still, one of the greatest and most under-rated performancesbyan actress in an American film in the 1990s.
Reviewed byhowardeismanVote: 6/10/10
I think that this film was meant to be realist and naturalistic.However,there is the reality that this is an entertainment, and theaudience has to hear and understand the lines. Supervigilance isrequired to do this in this movie. Not only does JJL's imitation ofDorothy Parker's speech affectations make the speech and musing of themain character difficult to understand, but the inclusion of backgroundnoise, overlapping dialog, and frequent muttering and mumbling of theperformers make every character difficult to even hear, much lessunderstand.
Since so much of this movie is about legendary people mouthing famousaphorisms, it is frustrating to only hear snippets of their lines. Isuppose the idea was to toss these famous lines away to add naturalism.However, without spotlighting the conversations of the legendarycharacters, however contrived this might be performed, this is just avery sad movie about a bitter, unhappy, self-destructive, unproductivewriter. Not very easy to watch nor very interesting.
Reviewed byNeil DoyleVote: 5/10/10
As a bio of the witty writer Dorothy Parker, this film is a dud. Wehave JENNIFER JASON LEIGH, correctly attired in period costume andhairdo, but rattling about in scenes of overlapping dialog and barelydiscernible comments being muttered by her under her breath. A strikingperformance? I don't think so. Leigh strikes out here, just as shestruck out when she attempted to win plaudits for her Catherine Sloperin WASHINGTON SQUARE.
Nice period atmosphere, sets, costumes and music can't make up for anutterly aimless script that is as empty as the babble going on amongthe sophisticated literate circle Parker was a part of. She gets somenice support from a cast of competent players but since the whole filmdepends on understanding what makes Parker tick, it's got to be calleda failure.
Parker deserved better than this. Hopefully, some day someone with asense of how to bring her to life will do so with a script that canmake us sympathize with the characterization instead of the sketchyview we get here. Nor does it help that few of the characters bear anyphysical resemblance to the people they're portraying. Did they knowwhat Robert Benchley looked like?
Dorothy Parker remembers the heyday of the Algonquin Round Table, a circle of friends whose barbed wit, like hers, was fueled by alcohol and flirted with despair.