Elaine May

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Broadway opening night of Gore Vidal's 'The Best Man' at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre - Departures

Elaine May Sunday 1st April 2012 Broadway opening night of Gore Vidal's 'The Best Man' at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre - Departures

Broadway opening night of Gore Vidal's 'The Best Man' at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre - Departures

Elaine May and Marlo Thomas - Elaine May and Marlo Thomas Sunday 1st April 2012 Broadway opening night of Gore Vidal's 'The Best Man' at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre - Departures

Broadway opening night of 'Death Of A Salesman' at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre - Arrivals.

Elaine May, Marlo Thomas and Stanley Donen - Elaine May, Stanley Donen and Marlo Thomas Thursday 15th March 2012 Broadway opening night of 'Death Of A Salesman' at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre - Arrivals.

Broadway opening night of 'Death Of A Salesman' at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre - Arrivals.

Elaine May Thursday 15th March 2012 Broadway opening night of 'Death Of A Salesman' at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre - Arrivals.

Opening night of the Broadway musical 'West Side Story' at the Palace Theatre - Arrivals

Elaine May, West Side Story and Palace Theatre Thursday 19th March 2009 Opening night of the Broadway musical 'West Side Story' at the Palace Theatre - Arrivals New York City, USA

The Birdcage Review


Excellent
It's a rare event when a remake of a film rivals the greatness of the original. The Birdcage, based fairly closely on La Cage aux Folles, achieves just that, memorably updating the earlier film's script with modern humor and a distinctly American setting.

The story has been done a thousand times, but La Cage aux Folles was one of the originals. Armand Goldman (Robin Williams) is an openly gay drag club owner in South Beach, Florida. Albert (Nathan Lane, best known as the voice of the weasel in The Lion King), aka Starina, is Armand's feature performer...and his "wife." When Armand's son-via-one-night-stand Val (Dan Futterman) announces his impending marriage to Barbara (Calista Flockhart, a dead ringer for Audrey Hepburn), Armand freaks. When Barbara's arch-conservative parents (Gene Hackman and Dianne Wiest) drop by for a visit, it gets even worse.

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Small Time Crooks Review


Excellent
Woody Allen always does his best work when he's both in front of and behind the camera. Small Time Crooks give us Woody once again as the star, once again making us laugh by proving that he and only he knows how to deliver the exact and peculiar cadence of his written humor.

An unabashed comedic fable, Small Time Crooks presents Woody as Ray Winkler, an ex-con living in a New York rathole and scraping by as a dishwasher. His wife Frenchy (Tracy Ullman) does nails by day, gives Ray a whole lot of lip by night. And when Ray comes home with a new "master plan" that promises to make them rich so they can retire to Florida (the dream to end all dreams in Small Time Crooks), Frenchy becomes a reluctant partner.

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Mikey and Nicky Review


Good
"I didn't say he was going to be in the middle of the street waiting for us," says Mikey (Peter Falk) to the hitman (Ned Beatty). The two are tracking Mikey's friend Nicky (John Cassavetes), whom Mikey is setting up after Nicky has been caught stealing from their mob boss. Mikey and Nicky have just had a fistfight in the middle-of-the-night streets of Philadelphia, and Mikey goes on to explain that Nicky isn't likely to be waiting in the exact spot where the fight took place, either; he will have run.

But then we cut to Nicky, and he is indeed standing in the street in the very same spot as before. The moment fits the plot, which follows the adventures of these two over the course of one long night in which Nicky unknowingly thwarts his friend's every attempt to place him within striking range of the hitman, and it fits Nicky's character, which is that of a hyperactive, wearingly obnoxious adolescent boy occupying the body of a full-grown man. But more than anything, it's another moment of eerily misplaced humor in a film full of anger and remorse.

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Heaven Can Wait (1978) Review


Good
How's this for high-concept: Star football player is accidentally swiped by angels before he's supposed to die, then is inserted into the body of a bazillionaire. Football player then launches the rich guy into a crusade for worldly good and, along the way, trains to become a football star. In the hands of anyone but Warren Beatty, this might really stink (see our review of the 1943 original), but the old scoundrel infuses the hero with such earnest and wide-eyed spirit that it's hard not to like. Julie Christie is badly miscast as the love interest, but it's Charles Grodin who steals the show in a smarmy role.

California Suite Review


Good
This Neil Simon tragicomedy features four groups of people who converge on a L.A. hotel on the eve of the Oscars. Three stories are pretty funny -- especially Walter Matthau's unfaithful husband to Elaine May, but it's the Fonda-Alda weep-fest that opens the movie that almost ruins the show completely. Still, it's salvagable, something of a Four Rooms... still not done quite right.

Primary Colors Review


Good
A more timely film would be difficult to imagine. Mike Nichols' highly anticipated -- and thinly veiled -- homage to the Clinton presidential campaign recently hit theaters, and it's worth a look. While the first half is an immensely funny jab at the political campaigning process, and Travolta and Thompson do a bang-up job as Bill and Hilary, you could probably leave when Clinton's... er... Stanton's opponent has a heart attack. The unfortunate second half of Primary Colors gives us an overwrought morality play about political mudslinging, and adds unnecessarily to an already overlong film. Overall, it's definitely worth a look, but don't expect any great insights into the workings of the system... or the workings of Clinton's mind.

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Small Time Crooks Review


OK

Woody Allen slides comfortably back into screwball mode directing himself as an incompetent bank robber dreaming up an absurdly arduous heist in "Small Time Crooks," his first movie in a long time unabashedly about nothing deeper than non-stop laughs.

Allen plays ex-con (and current dishwasher) Ray Winkler, the dubious mastermind behind a plan to rent an empty pizza joint two doors down from a Manhattan bank, then tunnel from the restaurant's basement to the bank's vault and make off with millions.

But Ray and his band of deficient ne'er-do-wells (Michael Rapaport, Jon Lovitz and Tony Darrow) need a front to occupy the shop while they burrow below. So he cajoles his manicurist wife Frenchy (Tracey Ullman) into opening a cookie shop in the empty storefront -- despite the fact that she thinks Ray's buddies, and their plans, are moronic.

Continue reading: Small Time Crooks Review

Elaine May

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