It's the Christmas season in Manhattan, and our principal characters are swallowed up in the heady round of debutante balls and swank receptions. One snowy eve, this determinedly proper crew, led by the arrogantly dissolute Nick (Christopher Eigeman), receives a new member, Tom Townsend (Edward
Clements), from truly alien territory--the West Side. Although sweet young thing Audrey (Carolyn Farina) is infatuated with Tom, he is still weathering the after-effects of a fatal crush on the notorious heartbreaker Serena Slocum (Elizabeth Thompson). Also threatening the welfare and happiness of
the clique is Nick's special enemy, Rick von Sloneker (Will Kempe), a pony-tailed Lothario over whom an alarming number of debs have committed suicide. The film climaxes with a pursuit and rescue of virtue in Southampton and ends on a sweet note of comradeship.
Exhibiting a prodigy's control over his cleverly devised material, Whit Stillman has made an updated drawing-room comedy that takes place largely at deb-party postmortems, with the characters endlessly jawing about honor and position. Surprisingly, the film is so adroitly written and played that
there is nothing claustrophobic about the proceedings--who wants to leave the room with such stimulating talk going on? The film is a party-night dream vision of New York, with roots in Astaire-Rogers musicals, screwball comedies, and Woody Allen films. Nick emerges as the most engaging of
METROPOLITAN's characters, with his easy hypocrisy in carnal matters and propensity for spreading scandalous stories about his rivals; Eigeman delivers his lines with aplomb worthy of Clifton Webb or George Sanders. Stillman is a careful observer with an obvious love of language, and his
wonderful, fresh cast handles the script with ease, conveying just the right measure of deadpan, jejune super-seriousness.
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- Released: 1990
- Rating: PG-13
- Review: It's the Christmas season in Manhattan, and our principal characters are swallowed up in the heady round of debutante balls and swank receptions. One snowy eve, this determinedly proper crew, led by the arrogantly dissolute Nick (Christopher Eigeman), rece… (more)