"A Comedy of Theatrical Errors"
What You Need To Know:
MEETING SPENCER touts itself as a farce, full of witty dialogue and comedic situations. Admittedly, it follows the structure of a farce, but it lacks the high-concept hilarity of a true, Restoration-style farce. The actors are very good. That said, the situations, while cute, are not quite funny. Also, there’s never a true sense of jeopardy. Finally, MEETING SPENCER has about 30 obscenities and profanities, some lewd dialogue, homosexual references, and a strong pagan worldview with immoral characters who bribe and blackmail their way throughout the story.
(PaPa, HoHo, LLL, S, AA, MMM) Strong pagan worldview with characters who deceive and finagle financial deals and parts in Broadway shows through lying and manipulative schemes centered around a hapless director who just wants to have a successful return to Broadway, plus strong homosexual content when a stage director takes a play about Philadelphia coal miners and turns it into a lavish Broadway musical with homosexual miners to sell it to investors; 23 obscenities, seven profanities, several uses of a derogatory name for “little people,” and one scatological joke involving a cow passing gas; no violence; sexual dialogue in a few conversations, woman admits to having adulterous affair and several people discuss their promiscuous behavior; no nudity; strong alcohol use depicted throughout and slight drunkenness implied; no smoking or drugs; and, very strong miscellaneous immorality includes lying, blackmail and fraud.
MEETING SPENCER is a high-concept farce about a hapless director’s return to Broadway after several years in the exile of Hollywood. Throughout the course of an evening in a well-to-do restaurant with other Broadway big shots, the director navigates through a series of both unfortunate and fortuitous circumstances in an attempt to return to glory on the Great White Way.
When Harris Chappell (Jeffrey Tambor) returns to New York after multiple big-budget Hollywood duds, he finds that getting his next play produced may not be as easy a task as he had hoped. Reuniting with his old lover, Didi (Melinda McGraw), at a restaurant known for its high-powered theatre clientele, Harris sets out to secure financing and his lead actor – all in the span of one evening.
As dinner progresses, Harris’ schemes go awry as he deals with a financier who may not be all he seems, an egotistical actor who finagles for more creative control, a producing partner who accuses Harris of fraud, a former lover who longs for his acceptance, a self-involved theatrical agent looking to pin Harris down for her next big deal, and a nosy reporter looking for her next big story at Harris’ expense.
With the help of his new, young protégé Spencer (Jesse Plemons), Harris must navigate all of these colorful characters while keeping both the creative integrity of his theatrical masterpiece and his career intact.
MEETING SPENCER touts itself as a farce, full of smart witty dialogue and comedic situations. Admittedly, it follows in the structural vein of farce, but it lacks the high-concept hilarity of a true, Restoration-style farce. The actors are all very good, and Jeffrey Tambor is always a delight. That said, the situations, while cute, are not quite funny. The movie tends to develop slowly. The plot lacks true, comedic pacing, and there is never a true sense of jeopardy even amidst the entire crisis.
There are some cautionary elements about which media-wise audiences may want to be aware. The movie has a strong pagan worldview with immoral characters who bribe and blackmail their way throughout the story. It also contains some references to homosexual characters and homosexual content as well as sexual dialogue throughout the movie and a lot of foul language.
All in all, MEETING SPENCER is funny, but it could have been so much funnier.
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