Alan Rudolph's loving portrayal of Dorothy Parker (a spot-on yet frequently incomprehensible Jennifer Jason Leigh) is a film for historians and literary fans alike, with a cast featuring more art-house favorites than any other movie in recent memory (just look at the cast list!). The film drips into treacle with its treatment of the love triangle among Parker, her husband (Matthew Broderick), and Robert Benchley (Campbell Scott). It's the primary focus of the movie but also its weakest link. The film is at its heights when the ensemble is in full force as Parker plies her wit around the Algonquin Round Table and various social affairs (all during the age of Prohibition). Leigh was snubbed on an Oscar nomination here despite a strong performance in a very weak year (Jessica Lange won for the tepid Blue Sky).
Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle stars Jennifer Jason Leigh as the infamous Dorothy Parker, in what I feel to be the best performance by an actress in 1994. Leigh is surrounded by some great supporting players also, and their exploits in prohibition-era New York are both interesting and entertaining. Although the story occasionally wanders into irrelevance and obscurity, it is ultimately a solid piece of work.