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The Last Days of Disco

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: The Last Days of Disco

Starring: Chloe Sevigny, Kate Beckinsale
Director: Whit Stillman
Rated: R
RunTime: 113 Minutes
Release Date: May 1998
Genre: Drama

*Also starring: Chris Eigeman, Matt Keeslar, MacKenzie Astin, Matthew Ross, Jennifer Beals, Robert Sean Leonard, Tara Subkoff, Burr Steers

Review by MrBrown
3 stars out of 4

Like writer-director Whit Stillman's previous films, _Metropolitan_ and _Barcelona_, his latest is all about talk and nothing more--it's just that the faces and the setting are different (New York City in the "very early 1980s," where the cultural phenomenon of discotheques and their accompanying musical genre were in their dying days). But the incessant barrage of verbiage is forgivable when it is as smartly, wittily written as it is here. The main gabbers of this film are the naive blonde Alice (Chloe Sevigny) and her best "friend" and roommate, bitchy sophisticate Charlotte (an unrecognizable Kate Beckinsale, sporting a perfect American accent and looking like a cross between Nicole Kidman and Parker Posey), both of whom are recent college grads who work in a publishing house by day and frequent an exclusive dance club at night.

The film is essentially a portrait of their and their friends' lives, but Stillman shows little concern for any of them. The emphasis is so strongly centered on their impossibly verbose conversations that all character and plot developments seem like throwaways. For example, when club manager Des (Chris Eigeman, a Stillman regular) develops a what is supposed to be a serious drug habit, it comes off as more of a minor step down than a plunging descent. In spite of its failings on the dramatic level, _Disco_ is still a very entertaining film, thanks to an appealing cast (which also includes Beckinsale's _Much_Ado_About_Nothing_ love interest, Robert Sean Leonard, and a briefly-seen Jennifer Beals) and those wordy discussions. Even though a number of the characters are Ivy League graduates, I'm not sure there are real people who talk the way these people do. But since the exchanges are as funny as they are (a sociopolitical deconstruction of Disney's _Lady_and_the_Tramp_ is the highlight), that complaint is moot.

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