Genuinely witty comedies with an idea or two in their heads are rare enough that each one that shows up is cause for celebration. So go ahead. Celebrate.
The set-up is familiar: the romantic misadventures of two mismatched friends. The odd couple are Ted (Taylor Nichols), basically a yuppie Woody Allen, and Fred (Chris Eigeman), who cheerfully admits to being every European’s worst assumptions about Americans. The objects of their affections are Tushka Bergen and Mira Sorvino. What’s d…fferent, apart from the sharp, low-key wit, is the setting: Barcelona during the last years of the Cold War. The prickly relationships between the US and Europe are thus very much part of the story.
The film is dialogue-driven, and so, thankfully, said dialogue comes through with perfect clarity. The surround aspects are not ignored however, and the music and sound effects are given a very nice mix. In particular, there is some wonderful environment-creating work done with rain. Those looking for 5.1 stereo will be disappointed, however.
The video is very nice too. Some of the colours (emphasis on some) are a little paler than they could be. For the most part, however, they are solid, and the blacks are strong and deep. The format is anamorphic 1.85:1.
Extras and Special Features
Now this is really interesting. The case mentions that there is a trailer and cast/director film highlights. True enough. (The filmographies are for Nichols, Eigeman, Sorvino and writer/producer/director Whit Stillman). But there is whole raft of other features that the case doesn’t mention. There’s a commentary by Stillman, Eigeman and Nichols (quite witty in itself, though sometimes a bit obvious in what is being described); deleted scenes (with optional commentary); an alternate ending (also with optional commentary); and a not-half-bad featurette. The menu is pretty basic, but does have a score on its main page.
It’s always a nice surprise when the disc provides more than advertised (as opposed to the other way around), and that all these extras should accompany a very solid film is even more of a bonus.
Special Features List
- Alternate Ending
- Deleted Scenes