Meet Authur (Stanley Tucci) and Maurice (Oliver Platt), two out-of-work actors who escape from the police by stowing away aboard a luxury liner. But soon the ship hits the fan, and the impostors must give the performance o... more »f a lifetime - not only to evade the authorities, but to foil the dastardly plot of a deranged crewman who has explosive plans for eveyone on board.« less
Mary L. (marymix) from NANTUCKET, MA Reviewed on 8/2/2010...
A Marx Brothers wannabe, this film starts slowly, doesn't quite hang together and stays a bit flat, but picks up steam toward the end. The last few scenes come close to level of the madcap chaos the Marx Brothers were so good at. An ok movie to watch - it won't have you in side splitting laughter, but it should provide some enjoyment.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Wonderful period comedy [Wish it was on DVD!]
Matthew Horner | USA | 03/24/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It is no surprise that The Impostors didn't do much at the boxoffice. In a time when gross-out comedies are the rule, this stylish, charming effort is definitely the exception. What modern audiences may not realize is that comedy covers a rather broad area. Way back in the 1930s, W. C. Fields was doing now classic movies which were rude, crude and very funny, depending on what you finds amusing. In those days - and for the next fifty years - many different types of comedies were made. Perhaps today the media tends to want to believe the public's tastes are universally the same. I know that Hollywood's marketing strategies seem to come from one common pool of thought, which is why it often cannot market anything not fitting a certain mold. The Impostors is a fond tribute to a gentler form of humor. Writer, director and star Stanley Tucci has proven with this and 1996's Big Night that he is one of our brightest independent film makers. His biggest attribute is his ability to make us laugh at certain stereotypes without ever being cruel. His is a loving touch.The time seems to be the 1940s. Tucci and Oliver Platt play Maurice and Arthur, who are best friends and very out of work New York actors. Maurice is tall and thin and seems to be the heart of the pair, while short, chubby Maurice is its brain. Trying to con a baker out of some pastries, they wind up getting tickets to a production of Hamlet instead. During the performance the star, whom they can't stand anyway, winds up getting too drunk to finish the play. Later, in a bar, they are caught by the actor doing a rowdy impression of him. He becomes irate, and in the ensuing chase, the two somehow wind up as stowaways on a luxury liner. Naturally, the star winds up being one of the boat's passengers.The ship is peopled with delightful eccentrics, including a broke socialite and her depressed daughter, a deposed queen, a gay tennis star, a psychotic Arabian sheik and a couple of fortune hunters. For the most part, the crew is equally mad, and Maurice and Arthur find themselves trapped in this madhouse at sea. The film is full of sight gags and one-liners, most of which work. Lili Taylor, who later this year will appear as Eleanor in the remake of The Haunting and as Janis Joplin in the movie of the same name, is delightful as the sympathetic social director. Steve Buscemi nearly steals his scenes as a heartbroken crooner ironically named Happy Frank. I really enjoyed this little jewel, and a most viewers with a sense of the absurd should, too. I even liked the movie's tag line. "Why be yourself when you can be somebody else"? I am really looking forward to Mr. Tucci's next effort."
The best comedy of the 1990's!
Matthew Horner | 09/24/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Imposters is a classic farce. The film is not only hilarious, but also packed with talented actors. (I haven't seen this many cameo's since The Muppet Movie.) Stanley Tucci and Oliver Platt play two umeployed actors in New York during the 1920's. They accidently become stow-aways on a classy ocean liner. Not only are they stow-aways, but a rival actor on the boat is out to destroy them. The comedy in this movie is not only brilliant, but extremely entertaining."
Matthew Horner | 06/12/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Hat's off to Stanley Tucci for directing, writing, and starring in the most refreshingly original comedy I've seen since The Blues Brothers. This is a relentless character-driven comedy set in a timeless style reminiscent of the golden age of Hollywood. From the opening scene until the end of the credits this movie will hypnotize you with incredibly well timed physical comedy and perfectly delivered dialogue that lift the classicly esoteric situations to a new level of genius. This movie is not only well written but brilliantly realized by an incredible supporting cast including Billy Connely, Isabella Rosellini, Steve Buscemi and Campbell Scott."
A sublime and ridiculous comedy!
LGwriter | Astoria, N.Y. United States | 10/03/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After the dubious merits of Big Night (in spite of winning awards, etc.), Stanley Tucci crafted this perfect gem of a comedy. While Big Night seemed to strain for its laughs, this one's a flawless laugh riot. At the beginning of the film, Tucci, very clever in his writing, evokes Laurel and Hardy--he's paired with Oliver Platt and the two are so redolent of the famous comedy duo of the past it's uncanny. In fact, in one scene, Tucci's expressions are a dead ringer for Stan Laurel's. I nearly fell off my chair!In another scene, one of Tucci's disguises calls to mind Groucho Marx and while he doesn't mimic Groucho's lines or behavior, the look is also reminiscent enough to bring up a chuckle or two.But it's not the calling to mind of past comedians that supplies the bulk of the humor--it's the clever situations. Tucci and Platt, playing unemployed actors, fall in with as diverse a group of characters as you could hope to find on board a pleasure cruise ship. Bearing in mind that the setting is the 30s, the dialogue snaps, crackles and pops, and the actors are all great. Campbell Scott as the perfect German, Steve Buscemi as the suicidal entertainer, Hope Davis as the morose daughter of Dana Ivey who plays a now near-impoverished widow, and Billy Connolly as an award-winning athlete who glories in the, shall we say, perfect attributes of the male species--you can see that everybody was having a blast doing the movie. They all relish what they're doing and it shows.This is not a meaty work, but in its froth it's so tempting and side-splitting, it's definitely worth seeing--if not owning. In addition to which, there is a cameo by a surprise, uncredited personality (quite well known) who adds his problems to the frustrations of Maurice and Arthur, the two unemployed thespians. Great job, Stanley!"