out of 4
All-Reviews.com Movie/Video Review
Review by Susan Granger
1½ stars out of 4
When Oscar-winner Steven Soderbergh teams up with Oscar-winner Julia
Roberts, attention must be paid. But this enigmatic movie-within-a-movie concept
is quite bewildering. Even Soderbergh describes it as a sketch, an experiment.
Written by poet/playwright Coleman Hough, it's a 24-hour, slice-of-life show-biz
saga. Julia Roberts plays Francesca, a blonde actress, who's playing the role of
a dark-haired journalist named Catherine in a movie called "Rendezvous." She's
interviewing TV-actor Blair Underwood, who's playing an actor in yet another
film with Brad Pitt. Catherine Keener is a frustrated v.p. of Human Resources,
married to an insecure Los Angeles magazine writer, David Hyde-Pierce. Mary
McCormack is Keener's massage-therapist sister who's planning a weekend at a
Holiday Inn in Tucson with a man she met on the Internet, not realizing he's the
playwright she picks up at an airport Food Court. His play, "The Sound and the
Fuhrer," stars Nicky Katt as Adolf Hitler. Their divergent paths eventually
intersect at the 40th birthday bash of a producer, David Duchovny. Sounds
confusing? It is. And it's supposed to be, filled with in-jokes that blur the
line between perception and reality. But Soderbergh's "sex, lies and videotape"
pushed the envelope and so does this quirky, self-conscious exercise. And just
how low-budget was it? Along with using grainy digital video, I heard Soderbergh
insisted his cast drive themselves to work each day, give up their posh
dressing-room trailers, and bring their own wardrobe, make-up - and lunch. Did
that included Miramax honcho Harvey Weinstein? On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1
to 10, "Full Frontal" is a talky, tedious 4. When Catherine Keener's character
sighs, "I just want this day to be over," I found myself nodding in agreement.
Copyright © 2002 Susan Granger
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