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

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

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.