TOWN AND COUNTRY
Reviewed November 30th, 2001 by David Nusair
They donít get much more infamous than this.
Town and Country is the movie that cost nearly $100 million to make and hardly any of it shows on screen. The film was completed a couple of years ago, but had to be held in a sort of stasis until the actors would collectively be available for reshoots. It was finally released to theaters earlier this year, where it barely coughed up $10 million in ticket sales. Finally, one of the biggest duds in the history of cinema hits the small screen and guess what? It really does suck.
Warren Beatty stars as Porter, an affluent New Yorker who seems to have it all Ė a seemingly stable 25-year marriage (to Diane Keaton), two well-adjusted kids, and good friends. But when his good buddy (played by Garry Shandling) reveals that heís been cheating on his wife (Goldie Hawn), Porterís life begins to unravel. He starts questioning his marriage, and begins a series of affairs with the various women in his life.
Town and Country is a wannabe Woody Allen flick, complete with the casting of Keaton. But where it fails (and where Allen wouldíve excelled) is in itís complete lack of a single compelling character. These arenít exactly pleasant people to be spending an hour and 45 minutes with, so we need to be given a reason to care about them. And weíre not. Porterís mid-life crisis (which is putting it kindly, considering Beatty passed his mid-life a decade ago) seems to have been spurred on by Shandlingís infidelity. And coincidentally, all of a sudden, women from all walks of life seem to find themselves inexplicably drawn to Porter, because he practically has to shoo them away with a broom. But itís not this convenient plot twist that sinks Town and Country Ė rather, itís the complete lack of a storyline. Free-wheeling flicks arenít necessarily bad, it just didnít work at all in this case. You can see everyone trying really hard to make it work, but it just doesnít.
Audio: This DD 5.1 soundtrack is pretty good (as good as youíd expect out of a movie thatís essentially just dialogue). Ambiant sounds are almost nil, but the dialogue always comes through loud and clear, and I suppose thatís all that matters.
Video: The 1.85 anamorphic transfer is spectacular. A lot of the movie takes place outdoors and while itís not like looking through a window into New York City, itís darn close. This is a really nice and clear transfer.
Extras: A trailer and some cast/crew filmographies.
Conclusion: I suppose Town and Country could have been worse, but given the money and talent involved, it should have been a lot better.
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