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Archive for the ‘Joe Mantegna’ Category

The Starter Wife

01 Mar

The Starter Wife — TV Series Comedy. A discarded wife decides to make her mark in Hollywood. 2 discs Color 2007

**

The great Judy Davis supplies that soft quick downplaying humor to all her scenes and it is a treat to see her bring them off. What a tonic she is!  Debra Messing is also expert at what she is doing here which is to play a person who is up to her nostrils in a swamp. This tends to monotonize the role, but it’s not her fault. Here, she either has a pretty man and feels secure or does not and does not. So this is not a particularly telling script, this being the story of a woman who is trying to rise above the males that surround her to make a career as a writer in Hollywood. But in fact, what she is actually striving for is the freedom to write a piece of her very own schlock, very much like the series we are watching. To have an ambition to be free is one thing, but to be free to produce a crumby woman’s movie is scarcely a charming goal. David Alan Basche gives a lovely Jack-Lemony performance as her husband; Hart Bochner, to play the handsome lug, takes care not to separate his lips very far when speaking; Joe Mantegna alone brings a touch of aristocracy to the proceedings. Yet, who cares about these spoiled Hollywood phonies? The difficulty with the material is that it is about Hollywood, a crass place as we all knew before we started, Also, its relatability is limited to jilted females of forty all of whom are worth more than Debra Messing’s character as they sit before their screens watching her. And so all they get to sort through is very expensive rubbish. The trouble is, you can’t write a satire of Hollywood, for Hollywood is in itself a satire. As for the humor, some snappy repartee, yup, but not a single character with any strength of character.

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