Rappaport contrives a strikingly seductive fusion of wit with seriousness, a New York tale of two sisters - Estelle (Danson) and Lena (Jones) - both working through a sort of love for Paul (Wade): male, fake-macho, hilariously silent. Though its baroque 'landscape' of interiors and tableaux, opera and soap opera, is held together by an unerring sense of visual style and persistently wry humour, the film ultimately suffers from an overweening sense of ironical self-esteem. Estelle, neurotic fantasist, diarist, reader of the voice-over that comments the action, is constantly undercut by the stylish visual gags, and confessions like 'I must have made it happen' make her an object of laughter: woman under a yoke of Christian (or Freudian) guilt. Here women are tyrants or martyrs (or both), and the token male in the film is irrelevant because we're busy endorsing the male behind the film. Estelle finally burns her diaries: castration. It's a strange example of sophisticated chauvinism; how much you laugh will depend on just how witty, intelligent and cultured you feel.
The Scenic Route
Cast and crew