Action / Comedy / Drama / Romance

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

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Chris Eigeman Photo
Chris Eigeman as Nick Smith
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
817.13 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 38 min
P/S 0 / 5
1.56 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 38 min
P/S 3 / 8

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by slokes8 / 10

The Discreet Charm Of The UHB

While every other social and ethnic group is deemed off-limits to filmmakers, one remains a target for cheap laughs: Preppies. From "Animal House" and "Caddyshack" ("the slobs versus the snobs") to John Hughes and Savage Steve Holland, to more serious fare like "Six Degrees Of Separation," filmmakers have availed themselves of this last group of people they can target with a broad brush of easy scorn.

Which is one reason why Whit Stillman's debut film, "Metropolitan," is so refreshing. By taking a more sympathetic, inside look at a group of affluent East Side Manhattanites home from college, Stillman makes a case for an underlying core of goodness beneath the Thurston-and-Lovey veneers.

Making the foray into their world for us is Tom Townsend (Edward Clements),literally and figuratively a red-headed stepchild in this world of privilege, having little money (his big secret, which he guards carefully with the help of mass transit, is that he lives on the West Side) and a defensiveness about his place in high society he manifests by adopting the stance of a disapproving socialist, though in reality he is more than a little too shallow to feel anything that deeply.

The truth of Townsend is immediately obvious to members of an upscale social set that call themselves the Sally Fowler Rat Pack, but they take him in anyway because he knows their world and seems like a good audience. Running the group is Nick Smith, who you can call a snob, as well as sexist, obnoxious, and of late, rather weird. Just don't call him tiresome, or you'll get an argument.

Nick is also a good guy beneath his preppie bluster, a fellow who champions Tom and breaks down Tom's highminded resistance to joining their circle with snarky logic ("You'd rather stay at home and worry about the less fortunate, but has it ever occurred to you you ARE the less fortunate?") He also has real values he honors, sometimes at no small risk to his nose. Chris Eigeman plays him with such panache you understand why Stillman kept using him in his movies; Eigeman's delivery is a thing of wonder, especially with lines that sound a mite too polished for instant expression. He can speak of his stepmother as "a woman of untrammeled malevolence" and make it sound like the most natural phrase in the world.

Another familiar face from Stillman's movies is Taylor Nichols, who plays Charlie Black, who when we first see him is stumbling through an explanation of why he believes in God and you do, too, even if you don't know it, and later on offers his own alternative definition of the preppie elite as the Urban Haute Bourgeoisie, i.e. the UHB. "Is our language so impoverished that we have to resort to acronyms of French phrases?" a woman asks.

Charlie's more of a preppie snob in his dislike for Tom, though as Tom trifles mildly with the affections of a woman in their circle, Audrey Rouget (Carolyn Farina),we understand Charlie's attitude. The movie is most fun as a platform for Eigeman and Nichols' pithy one-liners, and there are many great ones, but the complex relationship between Audrey and Tom is what gives the movie its plot and much of its interest.

It's bizarre how Clements and Farina vanished from the movie scene right after making their accomplished twin debuts. Farina, with her fetching dark eyes and wry, timid smile reminds one of Molly Ringwald at her pre-"Pretty In Pink" peak. Clements is good as a character that guards himself closely, with a scholarly front that falls apart fast.

Pressed on why he doesn't like Jane Austen's "Mansfield Park," Tom admits he hasn't read it, just that he doesn't like it from reading critical essays about it by Lionel Trilling: "I don't read novels. I prefer good literary criticism - that way you get both the novelists' ideas and the critics' thinking." "Metropolitan" is full of quotes like that, the product of young people who think they know more than they do but aren't quite bad beneath their smugness. It's not a film of great depth or revelation; Stillman isn't so interested in dissecting his creations as he is in giving them room to express their ideas, goofy and grand. His first film does exactly that, pulling off the twin feat of having cinematic fun and giving a preppie an even break.

Reviewed by lee_eisenberg8 / 10

the awkwardly mobile

I first learned of Whit Stillman from his 1998 dramedy "The Last Days of Disco". It took me until now to get around to seeing his directorial debut, 1990's Academy Award-nominated "Metropolitan". The focus here is a group of New York socialites during debutante season.

It would be easy to simply mock this crowd as a bunch of empty-headed rich jerks, but Stillman gives the viewer some insight into the protagonists' thought process. It becomes clear that these folks might not spend the rest of their lives in the privileged position that they've enjoyed.

I wouldn't call the movie a masterpiece, but it does give a nuanced look at this crowd, and their differences (mind you, some of them are not the most desirable individuals). Between this one and "The Last Days of Disco", I would definitely call Stillman a fine director.

So do we need to use French acronyms to describe ourselves?

Reviewed by SnoopyStyle8 / 10

Brilliant unique indie

In Manhattan, a group of upper class young people has come home from college for the debutante ball season. Everybody is in formal wear and discussing various things. Every night, they gather to go to a ball and hang out at various apartments. Middle class Tom Townsend, a fan of Charles Fourier's socialism, is pulled into the group. Audrey Rouget is the sweet one who likes Tom. Nick Smith is the nihilistic leader. Charlie Black is the brainy one. Tom is still obsessed with his ex Serena Slocum. He is an outsider growing up around but not in the social scene. He lives in poverty by comparison.

Chris Eigeman is great. Everybody else does a reasonable job for a young cast of amateurs. Filmmaker Whit Stillman captures a lot of truth in these insecure characters. There is a great certainty in their idealism and the emptiness of their ideas. It is only the end when Tom actually comes to grips with real feelings about Audrey. It's just such an unique indie.

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