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Hurlyburly

Year: 1998
Production Co: Storm Entertainment
Director: Anthony Drazan
Writer: Anthony Drazan
Cast: Sean Penn, Kevin Spacey, Chazz Palminteri, Meg Ryan, Anna Paquin, Garry Shandling
Adapted from a classic stageplay about Hollywood personalities and the haze of drugs and self-delusion they live under, this film is a one-lesson course in why plays usually don't translate.

Eddie (Sean Penn) and Mickey (Kevin Spacey) are agents who spend their time hoovering up coke, trying to shag the young starlet inexplicably dumped at their house (Anna Paquin) and arguing about the blossoming romance between Eddie and a woman that Mickey threatens to derail.

Artie (Garry Shandling) is their friend the producer who dumps the starlet on their doorstep like she's an unwanted TV and hangs around to talk shit and hoover up more coke.

Phil (Chazz Palminteri) is a self-absorbed actor who has no idea he hates his wife but spends his time trying to convince himself why he shouldn't leave her.

And Bonnie (Meg Ryan) is the all-but hooker who specialises in going down on anyone famous within reach, thinking nothing of doing so in the back of a car while her six-year-old daughter rides up in front. You don't see this delightful scene, mind you, but the heroes of the film sit around giggling about it like a bunch of schoolboys.

Such a great cast might fool you into watching Hurlyburly. Don't make the mistake. It's an acting class, a huge steaming pile of nothing, where nothing happens, no plot takes place, and the various characters sit around drunk or stoned, spouting poetic soliloquies most of us couldn't manage sober.

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