"Understated, Intense Character Study"
What You Need To Know:
Rated PG-13, STARTING OUT IN THE EVENING is a literate drama about human passions and regret that plays like an excellent stage production. This is not a splashy movie, with splashy performances, but a quiet slice-of-life drama. Within that limitation, it succeeds, helped along by a talented cast led by Frank Langella. The movie also has a humanist worldview with brief foul language, some sexual content and brief partial nudity. The sex and nudity are not extremely graphic, but movieguide.org advises extreme caution.
(PaPa, B, L, V, SS, NN, A, D, M) Strong but understated pagan worldview with a reference to God but no solid theology behind it to make a difference and woman wants to have a baby before she’s too old but boyfriend does not; two obscenities (including one “f” word) and four light profanities; man lightly slaps woman’s cheek and man with heart condition goes to hospital briefly after becoming ill; briefly depicted fornication in two scenes, implied fornication and older man lies down on bed with younger woman with their clothes on; bare back of woman during sex, upper male nudity and rear male nudity in one scene; alcohol use; brief smoking; and, older man has affair with much younger woman who’s not really interested, though she comes on to him.
STARTING OUT IN THE EVENING is a literally literate drama about human passions and regret that plays like an excellent stage production. Within that limitation, it succeeds, helped along by a talented cast led by stage and film veteran Frank Langella.
In the story, Langella plays Leonard Schiller, an aging writer who’s been working on his next novel for 10 frustrating years. Prancing into his life comes eager graduate student Heather Wolfe, who wants to interview Leonard for her dissertation on his novels. Leonard at first refuses, but he relents and begins to open up to Heather. This leads to a brief affair, which emboldens Heather to question why Leonard’s later novels, published after his wife’s death, are not as personal as his earlier ones. Meanwhile, Leonard’s 40-year-old daughter has problems with her ex-boyfriend, who still doesn’t want to have children.
You won’t find splashy performances in this movie like that of Daniel Day-Lewis in THERE WILL BE BLOOD, but they are almost as good in their more quiet way. Even so, this is not a really dramatic movie with lots of edge-of-your-seat melodrama. STARTING OUT IN THE EVENING also has a pagan worldview with brief foul language and some sexual content, including brief partial nudity. The sex and nudity are not extremely graphic, but MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.