There are always a few comedies each year that are extremely good but completely overlooked. Last year, it was Election.This year, it is State and Main, an extremely entertaining movie about a Hollywood production in a small town and the troubles that go along with it.
State and Main stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, William H. Macy, Alec Baldwin, Sarah Jessica Parker, Rebecca Pidgeon, and Julia Stiles. Just from the cast, you can tell that it is going to be good. I mean, William H. Macy chooses his movies really well (except for Mystery Men and maybe the remake of Psycho). Just about the whole cast does a terrific job and the chemistry is great. I found Sarah Jessica Parker and Rebecca Pidgeon especially interesting to watch; Parker, just because of the energy she brings to the screen, and Pidgeon because she knows just when to deliver her lines for the best comical effect.
The movie is really easy to get into because it presents a side of Hollywood that is human, but more likely because it takes place in a small town. Anyone can be involved in the movie. And because of that, troubles can arise, and troubles they do. The title of the movie they are making is "The Old Mill" yet the old mill in the town burned down forty years ago, so it is up to the screenwriter (Hoffman) to redo some of the story. Also, the star of the movie (Baldwin) has been sleeping with a local teenager (Stiles), and has been accused of rape. The director (Macy) is running out of money for his production and he is trying to convince the female lead (Parker) to show her breasts.
The troubles keep mounting and the comedy keeps getting better. Well, sort of. The first half an hour is by far the best of the movie, but after that State and Main remains pretty constant throughout. Towards the end the film dances around a little too bit, trying to wrap up storylines, but that can be forgotten. The rest of the movie is a gem.
There are some adult themes to the movie but for the most part State and Main is a comedy the whole family can enjoy. The cast, the screenplay, and everything else is at the top its game; what else can you ask for?
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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