Flawless

"Weak"

Flawless Review


The recipe for Joel Schumacher's post-"Batman" cry for redemption goes a little something like this:

Take one part "As Good As It Gets," but give the anti-social bigot a gritty, blue-collar bent and a debilitating stroke instead of an obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Add one part irritating drag queen movie ("To Wong Fu..." will do nicely) and two parts syrupy, medicinal social commentary.

When batter gets thin or starts curdle, toss in a pinch of random street gang subplot and beat vigorously to mask the flavor and force a climax to rise.

Pour the concoction over actors that deserve much better, give it a title that invites mockery, and serve for $8 a helping.

Such is "Flawless," a misguided Oscar-baiting actors' showcase drama about an abrasive, judgmental, lonely, retired cop (Robert De Niro) and his screaming drag queen neighbor (Philip Seymour Hoffman), who overcome their mutual disdain to form a bond of true friendship.

You can roll your eyes now.

The catalyst for this reluctant camaraderie is a stroke suffered by craggy ex-cop Walter Koontz (De Niro) while defending their residential hotel from a pusher on a rampage over missing drug money. Walter is partially paralyzed and his speech becomes slurred, so his doctor recommends singing lessons as therapy.

Unable to afford a speech therapist and feeling glum and self-conscious about being seen by friends in his condition, he turns to "Busty Rusty" (Hoffman), his fah-bulous, finger-snapping floormate, who De Niro had always made a habit of picking on when Rusty and his "girls" rehearsed for their various night club acts.

Out of fiscal necessity, Rusty agrees to be Walter's voice coach. Polar opposites, they snipe at each other until gradually each fellow's "I'm OK, You're OK" humanity surfaces from the icy depths of their hearts.

With such extraordinary actors as De Niro and Hoffman as tent poles, "Flawless" could have been a quality character piece if only writer-director Schumacher had written deeper characters or exercised even a modicum of self-restraint.

De Niro plays his malady and his hopelessness with heartbreakingly convincing empathy, but take away the stroke and the guy has little to work with. And really, who wants to see De Niro sing -- let alone sing with a speech impediment?

As for Hoffman, there's a strong, subtle, tender performance struggling to get out here. This is an actor whose incredible range has allowed him to play everything from a habitual masturbator in "Happiness" and a snooty medical student in "Patch Adams" to a tornado chaser in "Twister" and a pathetic, porn-industry groupie in "Boogie Nights."

But it's obvious from watching him in "Flawless" that Schumacher was demanding bigger and queenier after every take, and Hoffman's brilliance is lost in an exaggerated tizzy of agitated arm-waving, clipped-voice diatribes and verklemt tears.

The oh-so-scripted road to friendship between these two men is simplistic and transparent, but not nearly as transparent as the presence of the drug dealer subplot, which just hangs over the story like the proverbial other shoe, waiting drop a chase scene into the last reel because writer-director Schumacher couldn't think of any other way to wrap up his movie.



Flawless

Facts and Figures

Run time: 108 mins

In Theaters: Friday 28th March 2008

Box Office USA: $1.1M

Budget: $20M

Distributed by: Magnolia Pictures

Production compaines: Magnolia Pictures, Pierce/Williams Entertainment, Zero Gravity Management, Delux Productions, Film Fund Luxembourg, Future Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 56%
Fresh: 52 Rotten: 41

IMDB: 6.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Laura Quinn, as Mr. Hobbs, as Finch, as Ollie, Shaughan Seymour as Eaton, Nicholas Jones as Jameson, David Barras as Fenton, as Milton Kendrick Ashtoncroft, as Reece, Derren Nesbitt as Sinclair, Rosalind March as Penelope, Kevan Willis as Lewis, Stanley Townsend as Henry, as Boyle, Ben Righton as Bryan, as Cassie

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Cars 3 Movie Review

Cars 3 Movie Review

It's been six years since the last Cars movie (there were two Planes movies in...

The Beguiled Movie Review

The Beguiled Movie Review

In her inimitable loose style, Sofia Coppola remakes the 1971 Clint Eastwood movie from a...

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

The surprisingly thoughtful prequel trilogy comes to a powerful conclusion with this robust, dramatic thriller,...

It Comes At Night Movie Review

It Comes At Night Movie Review

This sharply original horror film not only approaches its premise from an unexpected angle, but...

Okja Movie Review

Okja Movie Review

As Tilda Swinton reteams with her Snowpiercer director, Korea's Bong Joon Ho, it's perhaps unsurprising...

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

This may be the third reboot of this franchise in 15 years, risking audience exhaustion,...

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Actually the fourth film in the series (don't forget the prequel Minions), this animated super-villain...

Advertisement
Baby Driver Movie Review

Baby Driver Movie Review

Wildly energetic and so cool it hurts, this action movie has been put together in...

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

There's a clear sense that this Tupac Shakur biopic is hoping to build on the...

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.