Flawless (1999)

FLAWLESS finds Robert DeNiro paired with Philip Seymour Hoffman, the 
former as a stroke-suffering ex-cop and the latter as the drag queen 
neighbor he takes singing lessons from.  (You know, as a form of 
speech therapy...)  They both live in New York, in a ratty apartment 
building that's also home to hookers, musicians, and People Involved 
in Drugs.  Oddly enough, this surrounding slice of lower-rent life 
is almost as compelling as the two actors.  The interactions between 
DeNiro and Hoffman have a pat and rather aimless quality to them-- 
second pass as minutes, making the already predictable scenes seem 
longer than they are.  (Hoffman's character's blackly comic quips 
help immeasurably.  DeNiro's character's homophobic comments, how-
ever, are hardly hair-raising.)  There's also a distracting subplot 
involving a drug dealer's missing money, which presumably rears its 
ugly coke head in the finale.  I left after an hour, but if I had to 
read the tea leaves, I suspect that the ending involves someone get-
ting shot, someone else's life getting saved, and one, big, wet, 
I'm-sorry-I-accused-you-of-channeling-Jesse-Helms group hug.  The 
dudster, Joel Schumacher (BATMAN AND ROBIN, 8MM), both writes and 
directs.  Barry Miller, Wanda De Jesus, Skipp Sudduth, Daphne Rubin-
Vega, and Wilson Jermaine Heredia also appear.  (Rated "R"/111 min.)

Grade: W/O

Copyright 1999 by Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

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Copyright 2001 by Michael J. Legeros -Movie Hell™ is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros