Town & Country

Like so many other movies these days, the story behind the making of Town & Country is so much more interesting than the movie itself. Filming finished a couple of years ago, and the film languished every since. The cost supposedly doubled, and various problems generated heaps of bad advance press. The end product is a bloated movie, with hints of clever situations lying underneath the surface. Town & Country is not as bad as people make it out to be, but that is not necessarily a great thing to say about a movie. Town & Country decides to take a decidedly humorous approach to infidelity, instead of a more serious examination. This is not good, since for a comedy, there are very few funny moments.

In the aftermath of affairs, two couples rethink their marriages. Gordon (Garry Shandling, What Planet Are You From?, Hurlyburly) and Mona (Goldie Hawn, Everyone Says I Love You, The Out-of-Towners) are not on speaking terms. Neither are Porter (Warren Beatty, Love Affair, Bulworth) and Ellie (Diane Keaton, Hanging Up, The Other Sister). This is the first affair for Gordon, and just one of many for Porter. His wife has no idea about his dalliances with a cellist, a storeowner, and a rich heiress. Writers Michael Laughlin (Mesmerized) and Buck Henry (To Die For) are grasping at straws when they send Porter and Gordon off on a ski trip to bond and commiserate.

The main issue is that of Porter's character. Beatty gives a smarmy performance that is perfectly in line with what the script calls for, and probably is better because of stereotypes on Beatty himself. But the character is just too much of a jerk. He professes a profound love for Ellie, but apparently his crotch controls his actions and he continues to cheat. All four of director Peter Chelsom's (The Mighty, Funny Bones) are members of the idle rich. They are shallow spoiled brats, who would rather complain than sit down and work out their problems. Chelsom attempts to build things up to a farcical ending, but the entire movie ends up as tedious. There is one genuinely funny moment in the film with everything else being ho-hum.

Haro Rates It: Pretty Bad.
1 hour, 44 minutes, Rated R for sexuality and language.

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