Witty 'Metropolitan' examines upper-class lifestyle

July 19, 1991|By Josh Mooney


RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video


It is perhaps hard to imagine that a film that concerns itself mostly with the somewhat aimless wanderings of a group of New York upper-class kids during the Christmas party season could be extremely inventive and very entertaining, but "Metropolitan" is both.

Writer/director Whit Stillman spent years writing the witty, literate script, raising the minuscule budget and getting crew and cast (all unknowns) together. It was worth the effort; "Metropolitan" is a gem.

It is an examination of a class and of a lifestyle that is slowly sinking beneath the surface of the American Experience in the egalitarian '90s. The film does not attempt to hammer home either the idea that this is a way of life worth preserving or that it's an archaic, unfair system where money and family determine one's worth. Mr. Stillman's too smart for that -- he lets his characters debate this issue themselves, and the results are sometimes hilarious, sometimes surprisingly moving.

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