READY TO WEAR (PRET-A-PORTER) is the latest product of aging filmmaker Robert Altman, whose new shtick has become that of throwing an army of characters into an unusual situation, adding chaotic dialogue and portraying a nihilistic world view. READY TO WEAR, which uses an annual gathering of fashion designers in Paris as its centerpiece, is a complete mess: badly written, poorly acted, ineptly photographed and completely pointless.
In READY TO WEAR (PRET-A-PORTER), filmmaker Robert Altman has completely lost his bearings, squandering an army of stars in one of the worst films in recent memory. The centerpiece of this mess is an even bigger mess, the annual “ready-to-wear” show in Paris during which top fashion designers show off their latest creations during a crowded and hectic week. Converging on Gay Paree are a number of lost souls whom Altman tosses into one silly and poorly-written story after another. Tim Robbins and Julia Roberts are reporters accidentally stuck in the same hotel room. One little drink turns Roberts into a nymphomaniac, to Robbins’ testosterone-driven delight. Stephen Rea is miscast as a hot fashion photographer, who appears comatose in most of his scenes. Kim Basinger is overbearing as an omnipresent TV reporter. So it goes, endlessly, shamelessly, pointlessly. (The other unifying element is the depiction of these characters stepping in excrement.)
To make matters worse, most of the acting is awkward (not an easy accomplishment when so many talented players are involved), the camera work is dated and the music by Michel Legrand is straight out of an elevator in the mid 1970s. Lots of raunchy language and general moral anarchy are the icing on this rancid cake. READY TO WEAR is a total loss, and richly deserves to be a bomb at the box office.
(H, LLL, V, SS, NNN, Ho, M) Nihilistic worldview; 50 obscenities & 30 profanities; man chokes to death on sandwich; sexual immorality & homosexuality repeatedly depicted & implied; repeated partial female nudity, with extended full nudity in one scene; and, repeated depiction of characters stepping in dog excrement.