When a hollywood film crew invades a small town they shoot first and ask questions later. With greedy producers self-absorbed actors and trouble-making towns-folk scandal is an all-star production. Special features: origin... more »al theatrical trailer: and much more. Studio: New Line Home Video Release Date: 09/26/2006 Starring: Alec Baldwin Clark Gregg Run time: 105 minutes Rating: R Director: David Mamet« less
"The marketing of "State and Main" did it little justice. I stayed away at first, fearful of another tired send-up of Hollywood and it's surreal machinations. Also, it appeared to be a wacky, zany, nutty comedy (three adjectives that should never -- NEVER! -- precede the word comedy). Thankfully, it's only a little of the former and relatively none of the latter.What is it really? A David Mamet film. Silly me for thinking otherwise. Once again, Mamet's script huffs and puffs, trying desperately to blow down the pomposity of the filmmakers who land on a small Vermont town. And it tries its best to inflate the small town folk, imbuing them with homespun knowledge, wisdom, and most importantly, purity. And when it realizes that it can't do either -- that both manage to be the proverbial immovable object to its unstoppable force -- it settles down into a finely crafted character study.Standouts in this respect include William H. Macy's cynical director, spouting platitudes into the ears of whomever needs calming, and ripping into his crew with deadpan glee. David Paymer is biting as the producer who has all the answers and damns anyone who gets in his way. Alec Baldwin and Sarah Jessica Parker play the lead actors in the film-within-the-film. He has a perilous predilection for young girls. She's found religion. The film never tells you which is worse. And Philip Seymour Hoffman, as the movie crew's token innocent (he's the writer, natch), finally gets to play a character who's both likable and *not* creepy. He even manages a series of near-miss love scenes.And whom does Mr. Hoffman share his love scenes with. Why, it's Rebecca Pidgeon, of course. I quote from my review of Mamet's "The Spanish Prisoner", regarding her performance: "[She's] Horrible, horrible, horrible. Well, not really." True, she redeemed herself by the end of that movie, but not nearly enough to get another kick at the can in one of her husband's films. And yet here she is again. And you know what? She's astounding! Her bookish theatre director is (under-) played with just the right amount of simple wisdom and joyous wit. Whereas in "The Spanish Prisoner" I couldn't for the life of me figure out why Campbell Scott's character didn't haul off and push her into the sea, here I was rooting for Hoffman's character to wake up and see what a great woman he had right in front of his eyes. Bravo!"State and Main" is not a traditional Mamet theatre/film piece, filled with non-sequiturs like "dog my cats" and prone to making grand and stately visions about the morality of man. It most definitely is about the search for purity. And it's set in a place where the truth, if heard by even the most cynical of ears, would make a lot of sense."
State and Main
Matthew Parks | DURHAM, NC USA | 01/27/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Hollywood has a long tradition of movies about movie-making, which range from the sublime (Sullivan's Travels, The Bad and the Beautiful) to the horrifying (Sweet Liberty). Thankfully, David Mamet's new film belongs with the former rather than the latter. Although known more for his gritty dramas than comedy, there is no doubt that Mamet has a genius for dialogue, and never has he put this genius to better use than he does in "State and Main." The movie also features one of the great ensemble casts in recent memory. In addition to Mamet regulars William H. Macy, Rebecca Pidgeon, and Ricky Jay, the cast of this Hollywood-film-crew-comes-to-small-town-New-England comedy features Alec Baldwin,Philip Seymour Hoffman, Sarah Jessica Parker, Charles Durning, and Julia Stiles. If there is any justice at all in Hollywood, the Academy voters will be able enough to laugh at their industry, and this movie will get a Best Picture nomination."
Wonderful and Hilarious
Stephen Kaczmarek | Columbus, Ohio United States | 09/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
""State and Main" is a throwback to the often gentle but hilarious satires of the 50s and 60s--you know the ones where the bucolic splendor of small-town America is thrust into chaos by the arrival of out-of-towners. Like "The Music Man" and "The Russians are Coming! The Russians are Coming!", David Mamet's sendup is witty and affecting, though many of his famous four-letter-word sensibilities still pepper the mix. The terrific ensemble cast includes Alec Baldwin, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rebecca Pidgeon, William H. Macy, and Sarah Jessica Parker, and the story revolves around a frenetic movie crew struggling to turn a dramatic disaster into a box-office winner. Along the way, they brave graft from the locals, the Machiavellian efforts of a producer, and the peccadilloes of a star that deserves to be locked up. Despite some raunch and cynicism, Mamet somehow manages to splash a sweet gloss on it all, particularly with a refreshingly watchable romance between Hoffman and Pidgeon. Look for some great sight gags, too, and, of course, Mamet's penchant for rip-snortin' dialogue. About the only complaint I have is that Ricky Jay didn't have more to do."
Witty and Smart
Corey White | USA | 03/31/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
""State and Main" is a David Mamet movie, and it shows. While more light-hearted than most of the his other works, it shares their stylized writing, understated cinematography, and brilliantly cynical humor. The movie follows the misadventures of a Hollywood film crew as they try to make a movie in small-town America, spinning locals and movie people alike into a whirlwind of hilarity.Featuring an ensemble cast of excellent actors (Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Rebecca Pidgeon, David Paymer, William H. Macy, Sarah Jessica Parker, Alec Baldwin, Clark Gregg, and Julia Stiles, among others), "State and Main" relies on their energy and fast-paced paced interaction to keep the laughs coming. The characters they play are caricatures (the noble writer, the slick director, the skirt-chasing actor, the greedy producer), but they are nevertheless believable. The very absurdity of the characters is entertaining, but the humor is intelligent - there's nothing slapstick about this. In fact, if the movie has a weakness, it is this very intelligence; at times, the writing seems a little self-conscious, the smartness a little stilted. Nevertheless, I'd much prefer a comedy to be too smart than not smart enough, and "State and Main" leans that way if it leans at all.Aided by a punchy soundtrack, the film gets off to a quick start and maintains its pace throughout. The dialog has a staccato rhythm, and the lines are delivered with beautiful comedic timing. The underlying themes of second chances and the transience of the American Dream are clear, but unobtrusive.I truly feel that this movie is an underrated masterwork, and I recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone who likes to laugh. I've watched "State and Main" at least five times, and it remains funny and engaging on each viewing - something I find very rare in a film. Buy this movie today, or rent it, or borrow it - you won't regret it."
Side-splittingly funny Hollywood satire
K. Schwarting | 07/11/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A film crew goes to a small town in Vermont (they were previously in a small town in New Hampshire, but had to move due to the male star's penchant for underage girls) to film a movie called "The Old Mill". The problem is that the old mill burned down in 1960, part of a spate of "unexplained fires". And that's just one of the funny set pieces of David Mamet's latest movie.There is the overly tense, carbohydrate-hating director, played to perfection by William H. Macy. The male star, played with swagger by Alec Baldwin. The female star, who refuses to go topless (despite having committed to it in her contract) unless the production company pays her additional money, played by Sarah Jessica Parker. And the hapless writer, who now must find a substitute for the mill, played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman.Unlike most Mamet-written or -directed films, this is a gentle comedy, without most of the raw language of his plays. But the dialogue is no less sharp and no less funny. There isn't a weak link in the cast, and the laughs keep coming as Bob (Baldwin) gets into trouble with yet another teenage girl (Julia Stiles, who makes it unclear whether she is the seducer or the seducee), Joseph (Hoffman) struggles to keep up with the demanded rewrites, and a town prosecutor vindictively (and then justifiably) goes after the film company for what is happening to the town.Filmed in a picturesque little hamlet, the complications of the plot seem all the funnier for occurring in this bucolic atmosphere. Very, very funny and highly recommended."