Reviewer's Rating 4 out of 5   User Rating 4 out of 5
Metropolitan (1990)
15

If Woody Allen made a teen movie, it might look something like Metropolitan, a witty, urbane portrait of Manhattan's debutante scene. Originally released back in 1990, it's the lauded first film from writer/director Whit Stillman, who's only made two more since (1994's Barcelona and 1998's The Last Days Of Disco). It's aged well, thanks to a reliance on old-fashioned virtues like smart (in fact Oscar-nominated) scripting and memorable characters - among them the cynical Nick (Stillman regular Christopher Eigeman) and deb-party newcomer Tom (Edward Clements).

It's through the latter's eyes that we meet the Sally Fowler Rat Pack, named after the girl whose Park Avenue pad they often gather in. A middle-class student in a hired tux, Tom doesn't approve of these rich kids, but he's there at every black-tie bash, debating the merits of Jane Austen, Luis Buñuel and public transport. His quiet intensity wins the heart of the sweet Audrey (Carolyn Farina); trouble is, he's still carrying a torch for ex-girlfriend Serena (Elizabeth Thompson).

"A SAGE REMINDER"

Stillman's use of a love-triangle device gives some shape to the dialogue-driven story. But it's also a sage reminder that, behind the trust funds, these toffs share the same anxieties and insecurities with any teen on the street. They just happen to talk about French socialism a bit more. True, there are times when you want to wring their spoilt, self-opinionated necks. But the conversation's usually so simulating that, even if aspects of this well-to-do world seem as alien as Mars, you'll still have a ball.

End Credits

Director: Whit Stillman

Writer: Whit Stillman

Stars: Carolyn Farina, Edward Clements, Taylor Nichols, Christopher Eigeman, Allison Rutledge-Parisi

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Classic

Length: 98 minutes

Original: 1990

Cinema: 19 May 2006

Country: USA

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