Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Robert De Niro, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Barry Miller, Chris Bauer, Skipp Sudduth
Director: Joel Schumacher
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
"One of the year's hottest surprises" (Rex Reed), this "feel-good drama" (San Francisco Chronicle) from writer-director Joel Schumacher (A Time to Kill) combines the acting talents of two-time Oscar(r) winner* Robert De Ni... more »
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Cheryl S. from LOVELAND, CO
Reviewed on 2/12/2016...
LOVED THIS MOVIE!!! Philip Seymour Hoffman should have gotten an Oscar for this role!!!
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Offbeat movie with a point
flickjunkie | 05/15/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"`Flawless' is an offbeat story about Walter Koontz (Robert De Niro) an ex-cop who suffers a stroke and loses partial ability to speak. In an effort to regain some of his speech capabilities it is recommended to him that he take singing lessons. So he decides to ask his neighbor Rusty (Philip Seymour Hoffman), who is a female impersonator, to give him singing lessons. This is an unlikely pairing because Walter is a belligerent homophobe.This film was written and directed by Joel Schumacher. His story, though peculiar, makes some powerful points. This is a story about hatred, bigotry and reconciliation. Walter learns through his disability who his friends really are, and who they are not. It seems that the people he hates treat him a lot better than the people he thought he loved. Ultimately, he is able to look past his prejudices to find the human elements that make him and Rusty not so different after all.This was an excellent character study of both main characters, giving a lot of insight into the motivations and lives of each. Unfortunately, the story meanders too often to irrelevant characters and scenes that don't really contribute much (like the Gay Republicans). Schumacher would have been better to concentrate on the relationship between Walter and Rusty rather than digressing so frequently into Rusty's relationships with his friends.De Niro was outstanding in this film. Not only was he excellent in the emotional portrayal of a man having to deal with a sudden debilitating stroke, but he was very realistic in his portrayal of the physical disability itself. The combination of his struggles to do the simplest of tasks and the obvious look of anguish and frustration on his face was poignant and affecting.Hoffman brought a lot of emotional energy to his part, and his imitation of a drag queen was passable, though somewhat forced and unnatural. Wilson Jermaine Heredia, who played Cha-Cha, the winner of the Flawless contest, was a much more convincing queen.I rated this film a 7/10. This is a good film that helps us understand that the remedy for the fear wrought of our differences is understanding, not hatred. In that respect it makes an important contribution. If cross dressing and blatantly gay themes put you off, perhaps you should defy your inclinations and see it."
Enjoyable, but certainly not "flawless"
Linda Linguvic | New York City | 02/13/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I rented this video by mistake -- literally. I had chosen another film but when I got home the wrong film was inside the box. I had never heard of this 1999 movie but it was starring Robert DeNiro and Philip Seymour Hoffman, who I just seen play a wonderful character role as the writer in State and Main, and so I decided to watch it.The theme is interesting. Robert DeNiro plays an aging former security guard who lives in a run-down apartment house peopled by some weird and interesting characters. Philip Seymour Hoffman is cast as the drag queen across the courtyard who taunts the homophobic DeNiro who amuses himself by paying for women he meets at a sleazy dance hall.Then DeNiro has a stroke. When he is released from the hospital his helplessness makes him contemplate suicide. His physical therapist recommends singing lessons to help his slurred speech. "At least you'll be able to have phone sex" says the therapist. As Philip Seymour Hoffman is a singing teacher, these two fine actors are thrown together for some excellent scenes. Usually drag queen characters play comic roles but his is a very serious part, as is DeNiro's. I understand also that DeNiro visited rehabilitation centers and worked with a physical therapist in order to get the speech and physical problems of a stroke victim correct. This authenticity comes through in his outstanding acting. There's much to say in this film about courage and compassion. The chemistry between the two actors make it all very real.It's too bad that the rest of the film is of the Grade B variety. There's some silly plot about a drug deal and hidden cash and some bad guy gangster scenes that are overacted and feel like the amateur hour. There's too many stereotype characters who live in the apartment house. There are too many subplots. The problem with this film is that it can't decide if its a comedy or a drama. It's strongest in its dramatic moments but then seems to fade off and become just too busy and distracting. DeNiro's and Hoffman's performances are so good, however, that it's worth watching just for that. There's much food for thought here and good issues raised about physically challenged people.So for those of you who don't' necessarily demand perfection in every video you see, I give this film a modest recommendation. I know that I enjoyed it in spite of the fact that it was not "flawless"."
Oh. My. God. Over the top terrific.
Peggy Vincent | Oakland, CA | 03/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"How on earth did this movie get made? It's so offbeat, such improbable fodder for the movie mill of Hollywood, so, so, so.... So over the top in every way. Two very special and talented actors hold down the story. DeNiro plays a homophobic cop who is trying to recover from a debilitating stroke; he starts by taking singing lessons from his neighbor, played by the incomparable Philip Seymour Hoffman, a pathetic drag queen who is trying to save up enough money for a sex change operation.
Well. You can imagine the looks DeNiro gives him, the comments, the eye-rolls, as Hoffman vamps or slumps around in a kimono or wig or feathered scarf. Really, really good stuff. You suspect DeNiro will emerge from this encounter as a more tolerant man, and you would be correct - but that's not the end of the tale.
There's another whole plot line about drug deals and stolen money that comes up against the gay community and the drag queens, prostitutes of all three sexes, the cops (both honest and dis) - and when the goons come to call, you fear that these people you've come to care about will come to a sad fate.
I won't say more. Just don't miss it."