User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 9 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 0 out of 9
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  1. YoonMinC.
    Nov 8, 2003
    8
    Stillman's obvious artistic kinsmen are Woody Allen and Eric Rohmer. Yet, Stillman doesn't wallow in self-pity like the former and doesn't constrict his stories within 'moral' discourse of the latter. Stillman, at his best, manages the right balance between lively chatter and somber reflection. His writing, rather like Allen's, sometimes has the annoying Stillman's obvious artistic kinsmen are Woody Allen and Eric Rohmer. Yet, Stillman doesn't wallow in self-pity like the former and doesn't constrict his stories within 'moral' discourse of the latter. Stillman, at his best, manages the right balance between lively chatter and somber reflection. His writing, rather like Allen's, sometimes has the annoying characteristic of rehearsed monologues interrupted by token protestation by others merely for the sake of furthering the monologue. Sometimes, no matter how clever or engaging, the exchanges are about trivial matters though Stillman contextualizes them within the thematic development. Stillman also isn't quite a director of actors; the performances are adequate, even charming, but never tour-de-force. This restraint may seem somewhat odd in a movie about wild and crazy disco, but it isn't really about disco. Disco is simply used as a backdrop, as a phase in musical culture as well as in life, which defines these young people. This movie could just as well have been set in the hippie 60s or charleston 20s. Stillman is, foremost, concerned with certain timeless lessons revolving around friendship and love. There's something about chivalry and honor in all of his movies, values that are old-fashioned but refreshing in today's movie values of excess cynicism and violence. Also, interesting is Stillman's nostalgia for disco which is paradoxically colored by his conservative instincts. We usually associate disco--as with most other forms of pop cultural movements--with novelty, faddishness, and disposability, yet Stillman's not so interested in disco era's thrill and excitement as its sense of glory. Even with disco, Stillman catches a sense of a city on a hill, of camelot, with its knights, princesses, and jesters. While most people tend to look back to rock or disco of yesteryear to recapture youth, Stillman values the bygone world of disco for its sharing of timeless elements with all other forms of human community where love, courtship, rivalry, and ultimately honor came into play. Stillman understands new things become old things. What was revolutionary becomes conservative; in a way, it's a statement about youth; how youth is identified with new ideas and values yet as we grow older it becomes a time and place to cherish and mythify, to remember and behold. In this harking back to a special period to which we can't return but has defined the mood and mode of our lives, Stillman has found the core of conservative instincts--if not ideology--in all of us. Ultimately, Stillman's films are not about passion but about dignity, not about Truth but honor. Stillman's instincts, being conservative, do not lean toward utopian visions, all-encompassing truths, or mad passions. He believes most people can, at their best, find some kind of moral compass in life and direct their actions with a modicum of moral consideration. Stillman believes people can think and can change. Hardly original but rare in movies today with their stock characterizations and simplistic, determinist dynamics. Perhaps, Stillman doesn't have the gusto of PT Anderson, the bravura inventiveness of Tarantino, or the morbid gravedigging obsessiveness of Solondz, but his grasping for sanity in an ever-changing, deceptive world is much needed and welcome. Thank god not every director is a Stillman but we need him just as any other, just as the New Wave needed Truffaut as much as it needed Godard, Rohmer as much as Chabrol. Expand
  2. RonS.
    Nov 10, 2003
    9
    Lots of smart talk and sexy girls. A party movie for preppies wanting to be yuppies. Cool.
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 24
  2. Negative: 1 out of 24
  1. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    100
    Stillman has become a master at escalating the laughter by waiting an extra beat and then understating something devastatingly funny, as when someone looks Chris Eigeman's club manager, Des, in the eye and says, "I consider you a person of integrity - except, you know, in the matter of women."
  2. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    80
    [Stillman] has a keen sense of group dynamics and a fine comic ear.
  3. The score (a nifty collection of vintage but never clichéd period tunes) complements the mood perfectly, and the ensemble cast members hit their own notes to perfection.