At the very juncture where hollywood meets the mountains where the almost-rich and not-yet-famous live on cheap thrills and heady ambition while searching for true love and redemption eddie and his three best friends engag... more »e in a wild life of witty repartee and snappy come-backs of ex-wives and future lovers. Studio: Warner Home Video Release Date: 05/10/2005 Starring: Sean Penn Meg Ryan Run time: 126 minutes Rating: R Director: Anthony Drazan« less
Craig S. (InnerMacro) from WAUSAU, WI Reviewed on 2/20/2022...
Ever wonder why producers make stupid decisions that screw up what would otherwise have been great movies? It's because real-world producers often behave like the characters in Hurlyburly. This movie is a two-hour exploration of the drug-addled brains and self-absorbed perceptions of Hollywood's 'movers and shakers'. Although the movie is cringeworthy and not particularly funny (despite being called a comedy drama), Hurlyburly nails the culture quite well with believable dialogue and interactions - complete with all the ugliness.
So the next time you are watching a movie, and something really idiotic happens that makes you wonder "were the producers doing coke when they green lighted this movie?" . . . you can recall Hurlyburly and nod knowingly . . .
Susan M. from LAKE ELSINORE, CA Reviewed on 9/17/2011...
Sorry for late review. Received in excellent condition...thank you so much!
0 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
leyla | sydney, australia | 01/25/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What you must know going into this movie is that you will not be passive about it. You will either love this movie or you will hate it. Many people say it drags on, lacks plot, etc, but I completely disagree. It is a movie about modernism, post modernism, post post modernism, all those absurdities of modern artists, especially existentialism. This is a movie about the next lost generation, people living in a world with no comfort for those who find it goes by too fast for them to find anything to feel passionate about. These people are searching for something, anything, to crave, and we as the viewers simply are introduced to a splice of their thoughts, hopes, dreams, etc. Anna Paquin is amazing in one of her first starring roles since The Piano; her progress as an actress is nothing short of spectacular. Meg Ryan finally sheds her ever-present cuteness and dares to take a role completely unlike any of her others, and does it impeccably. The chemistry between Sean Penn and Robin Wright Penn is gripping as always, as they slip into new, absurdly off-center roles. Kevin Spacey is stunning. I love that this movie was created by many of the actors in it, I love the intelligence and creativity they gave it. This is one of my favorite movies, but it is clearly not for everyone."
Challenging and rewarding
Matthew Horner | USA | 03/23/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"pHurlyburly is a word which means "confusion or tumult." It is an apt title for this movie, which details the confusion often caused by some people's search for a life with true meaning. The questions here are numerous, but for both the main characters and the audience, the answers are very few. What we do see are the ways in which the characters deal with the mystery that is life.Sean Penn play Eddie, whose house in the Hollywood Hills is the film's main location. His best friend Mickey [Kevin Spacey] has moved in with him because his marriage is on the rocks. The two are executives in the movie business. They are a case of opposites attracting. Mickey is low-keyed and never, ever ruffled. He has a basically content, though somewhat cynical, view of life. Eddie is an excitable guy who lives on the edge. Mickey may be the only sane friend he has. I should say here that one of the elements in Hurlyburly that put many people off is that Eddie is a drug addict. Except for a short period with a new girl friend, he seems to be high all his waking hours. Thus, some viewers felt that his quest to find out whether he had a place in the universal order of things [assuming there IS an order] was absurd. It isn't politically correct these days, but while I do not advocate drug use, I do think many of the people who turn to them are already very confused. To them, drugs are a logical but very dangerous tool. Substance abuse may also be an attempt to soothe an already tortured soul. A person's using drugs is not a sufficient reason to write off what they think or feels. Phil [Chazz Palminteri] is another of Eddie's friends. Phil is an obvious psychotic. His problems include heavy paranoia and a complete fear and loathing of women. He is prone to violence as well. Yet Eddie senses a goodness in the chaos that is Phil. He also relates to Phil's search for some sense to life. While the other characters mock working-class Phil, Eddie sees his innate intelligence. He also recognizes a fellow traveler in the hurlyburly of life.A movie such as this is often not a viewer's dream, but it is always an actor's dream. Here, an especially strong and well-known cast gets to strut its stuff in ways impossible in a commercial picture. Sean Penn, who once planned to quit acting, shows again that he is one of our finest talents. He becomes Eddie. Kevin Spacey's abilities are well know. Chazz Palminteri is dazzling as Phil. Playing a young street person, Anna Paquin puts another notch in her resume. Robin Penn Wright is commanding in the film's least flashy role. For the first time since 1993's Flesh and Bone, Meg Ryan gets to remind us that she can be far more than a romantic lead. The one thing that I had difficulty with was the male characters' views on women. To a man, they seemed to relate to women only as sex objects. There are such groups of guys, of course, but I found myself getting increasingly uncomfortable with this point of view. It seemed to take away from the script's higher aspirations. If they were unwilling to try to understand women, how could these men ever understand the cosmos?Hurlyburly is a difficult and intelligent movie. Still, it is far more accessible than, say, the same years's Eyes Wide Shut, which left even this seasoned moviegoer with a blank look and a blinding headache. It should prove to be a treat to those who enjoy challenging dialog and impeccable acting."
An insightful snapshot of the seedy side of Hollywood
Fietsvrouw | 11/06/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Hurlyburly begins slowly, because the premise rests upon an intricately drawn out character study, not only of individuals leading a life out of ballance, but also, necessarilly, of a culture that enables them to do so. There is no "unheard of occurence", and what plot there is is purely incidental, a barely meaningful byproduct of the real purpose of the movie: the study of a group of characters fleeing from their own consciousness by whatever means available. It is uncomfortable to watch, not only because their search for transcendence and meaning is doomed to fail, and fail embarassingly, but because their attempts are by in large life-negating. There is the obvious escape into substance abuse, marginalised sexual behaviours and the like, but more convincingly, the drug of choice seems to be the characters own perversions of philosophical thought, designed to absolve themselves of responsibility for being (ala Sartre), to trap them in their own reflection (ala Kierkegaard) and to set up house in the reflective mind so as not to be in the world itself living (ala Heidegger).The acting performances are electrifying! Contrary to some critique, Meg Ryan gives an outstanding performance; her humour in the role is less an extension of her "cute" persona, as a reflection of a hedonistic and yet ironic view. While one may objectively feel that the life of a drugged out sex addict, with poor self-protective skills, and parenting prectices that may only be classified as abusive is contemptible, nevertheless one is forced to give her grudging credit for an equanimious approach to life and healthy sense of irony. Penn gives one of the best performances i have ever seen from him, and Spacey, who may well serve as the group's plumb line, offers a piercing insigt into the films situation at the end. He wanders through the situations like a Greek chorus, righting the viewers perceptions, and offering a grounding figured bass counterpoint to the frenetic mental gyrations of the other characters.The movie's "turning point" is a poignant embodiment of Sartres notion of the anguish of man: the fear is not that one may fall, but that one may jump."
Anthony Brown | 07/27/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie most obviously benefits from a flawlessly written script and exceptional acting. The dialogue is written remarkably well and the entire cast (including Kevin Spacey, Sean Penn, Anna Paquin, Robin Wright Penn, Meg Ryan, and Garry Shandling) recites it with perfection, even through long and drawn out, yet very interesting conversations. The acting and direction makes the characters seem like real people, and we are merely onlookers viewing a small portion of their complicated lifestyles in the Hollywood upperclass. Sean Penn gives one of his best performances as Eddie and Kevin Spacey does a great job as the cynical Mickey, though he isn't given as much screen time as he deserves. Meg Ryan and Anna Paquin show up more as cameos, rather than actual characters, but they play their brief parts to perfection. If you can stand watching a movie that focuses on the characters and the story without any action or special effects, than this movie is worth watching."
Fietsvrouw | 07/08/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great movie. It is art. The movie speaks for itself. It has a life of its own. It is truly a work of art. It is not perfection, as nothing is. It is a piece of life. It is entertaining. It is funny, violent, sad, meaninful. There are no necessary comparisons to be made. We know these actors have other work under their belts. This is what artists live for. Dramatic as it may be, I hope others can share with me the joy of watching a work of this nature. If you don't see the value, maybe you are simply looking to be entertained. That's fine for most movies, but this one is something else entirely. Please don't try to topple this movie, its too good, too honest for that. If you want to be critical, I can think of many movies that fail in their aspirations. This is a rare work, one that works. I am sorry I cannot be more specific. Maybe this is good. I want you to see it for yourself."