State and Main

State and Main ★★★★

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Lighthearted, by Mamet standards, but still plenty of jabs at the movie-making process, inflated egos, and creative fabrication. By putting his wife, Rebecca Pidgeon, front and center, he was taking a bit of a chance. If she had not delivered as Annie, this would have looked like a badly judged misstep, but Pidgeon nails her character with ease. She and Philip Seymour Hoffman turn what might have been a side story into the charming main event. Nearly everyone shines, but Macy, Paymer, Baldwin, and Parker are all tuned into the ensemble nature of the undertaking. The writing never steps over the line into absurdity, but still allows each character bathe in their own particular idiosyncrasy. Julia Stiles is memorable as Carla, the randy teen, set on seducing star, Bob Berrenger (Baldwin) before he tries it himself. The reason the movie crew has relocated to Waterford, VT from New Hampshire, is Berrenger's roving eye for underage girls. My favorite townspeople are definitely Bunky and Spud, (Morris Lamore & Allen Soule) two old townies that read Variety and ruminate about adjusted grosses, and per screen revenue. Patty Lupone's filthy song over the credits is also worth sticking around for.
This isn't a laugh out loud comedy, more of a consistent chuckle and smile one, and the dialog is the main attraction, just like all Mamet's films. Certainly not a stone cold classic, but it's a very amiable way to spend a couple hours. And no, I'm not telling you why the Huskies weren't state champs in 1975. Go you Huskies!