Playing Mona Lisa

  • 2001
  • Movie
  • R
  • Comedy, Romance

This boisterously acted comedy, based on a tiresome coming-of-age play, misuses the talents of a consummate ensemble. Even the likes of Marlo Thomas, Elliott Gould and Harvey Fierstein make this hokum about a Jewish American Princess who blames her every problem on romantic fiascos feel credibile. Pianist Claire Goldstein (Alicia Witt) graduates from the...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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This boisterously acted comedy, based on a tiresome coming-of-age play, misuses the talents of a consummate ensemble. Even the likes of Marlo Thomas, Elliott Gould and Harvey Fierstein make this hokum about a Jewish American Princess who blames her every problem on romantic fiascos feel credibile. Pianist Claire Goldstein (Alicia Witt) graduates from the San Francisco Conservatory with the promise of a fine concert career ahead. But Claire falls apart when her live-in beau, Jeremy (Zachary Kranzler), dumps her. Despite her friends' efforts to fix her up and despite the career encouragement of her gay music professor, Bennett (Harvey Fierstein), Claire remains a confused little girl at heart. Her family, meanwhile, is preoccupied with wedding preparations for her non-neurotic sister, Jenine (Molly Hagan), and too busy to console Claire. Besides, Claire's mom, Sheila (Marlo Thomas), has troubles of her own — her husband, Bernie (Elliott Gould), has just accidentally burned down his office. Claire's dating jinx appears to be broken when she meets self-professed shy guy Eddie (Ivan Sergei). But Eddie is hiding his own dysfunctions, and just as Claire starts building a relationship with him she blows an important audition, rattled by news of Jeremy's engagement. As Claire tries to make up her mind about settling down with Eddie, she learns that everyone has problems — even her sister. Jenine's fiance turns out to be Bennett's former lover! This fractured relationship comedy is both sluggish and jittery, and everyone is explained with self-help jargon — it's like being stuck at a college mixer hosted by coeds on novocaine.

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  • Released: 2001
  • Rating: R
  • Review: This boisterously acted comedy, based on a tiresome coming-of-age play, misuses the talents of a consummate ensemble. Even the likes of Marlo Thomas, Elliott Gould and Harvey Fierstein make this hokum about a Jewish American Princess who blames her every p… (more)

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