The New Age

  • 1994
  • Movie
  • R
  • Comedy, Drama

Michael Tolkin's THE NEW AGE is something new, a comedy of horrors that's brittle, hypnotically hip, and so cool it almost freezes the audience out. It's like an update of Preston Sturges's THE PALM BEACH STORY in which the enviable rich people are no longer daffy eccentrics but energy vampires who feed off each other. In the midst of the 1990-91 recession,...read more

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Michael Tolkin's THE NEW AGE is something new, a comedy of horrors that's brittle, hypnotically hip, and so cool it almost freezes the audience out. It's like an update of Preston Sturges's THE PALM BEACH STORY in which the enviable rich people are no longer daffy eccentrics but energy

vampires who feed off each other.

In the midst of the 1990-91 recession, LA literary agent Peter (Peter Weller) impulsively decides to find his bliss. He contemptuously walks out on his boss Kevin (Corbin Bernsen), without regard for the needs of his high-strung wife Katherine (Judy Davis), a graphic designer who is facing an

exodus of clients. Primed by an assortment of gurus who flit through their social set, Peter and Katherine imprudently decide to invest in their own upscale clothing store, Hip-ocracy. Thereafter, the couple must undergo the kinds of humiliation, large and small, from which people of their class

were well insulated in the glory days of American capitalism.

Michael Tolkin sets a difficult task for himself with THE NEW AGE: to satirize the tenets of New Age philosophizing while mustering the requisite sympathy for two fantastically overprivileged lost souls. The film suggests that West Coast swamis-for-hire have twisted legitimate spiritual quests

into a religion of success in which the mantra is "Gimme!" As in THE RAPTURE, Tolkin treats a recognizable assortment of fanatics and frauds with a certain sympathy (in an interview about THE RAPTURE's apocalyptic Christians, he asked seriously, "What if they're right?"); as a result, the comedy

is overwhelmed with pain and bitterness.

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  • Released: 1994
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Michael Tolkin's THE NEW AGE is something new, a comedy of horrors that's brittle, hypnotically hip, and so cool it almost freezes the audience out. It's like an update of Preston Sturges's THE PALM BEACH STORY in which the enviable rich people are no long… (more)

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