Film Review: The Extra Man : Directed by Shari Berman and Robert Pulcini

Review By: Mut Asheru

Run Time: 105 min

What a strange movie.  I am a fan of quirky but this was quirk overload.  I’m not sure the thoughts were transferred to script very well which gave the film bloated whimsy.  Yet…I can’t quite totally dismiss it.  The sheer screen prowess of Kevin Kline makes it impossible to dislike totally.  I always thought that the ability of one single actor to carry a film out of the muck and mire was a myth.  I have been proven wrong and by the end of The Extra Man I have a profound respect for Kline where I didn’t have it before.  

Based off a novel by Jonathan Ames, The Extra Man is at once dry and oddly charming.  Fitzgerald loving Louis (Paul Dano) fancies himself a man of the 20s who feels as if sometime his life is being guided by a narrator outside himself.  Maybe then he could cope with his cross-dressing desires if only he was playing puppet to some unseen writing hand.  But alas we find he’s just a guy who’s curious about dressing up in women’s underwear…a curiosity that gets him fired from (Princeton) and forces him to make a move to Manhattan.  He signs on as roommate to Henry Harrison (Kevin Kline) who happens for all of his snobbery and weirdness turns out to be an “extra man” or a more romanticized and elegant version of a male gigolo. 

I had to make myself sit through this but ultimately I’m glad I did.  I now have the biggest screen crush on Kevin Kline. Its because of him that somehow this film turned out to be enjoyable.

Paul Dano turns in a good performance as for a character (Louis) written to be strange and vacant. 

Cast:
Kevin Kline, Paul Dano, John C. Reilly, Katie Holmes
Producer:
Jonathan Ames, Stefanie Azpiazu, Stephanie Davis
Screenwriter:
Robert Pulcini, Jonathan Ames, Shari Springer Berman,
Cinematography:
Terry Stacey
Production Designer :
Judy Becker
Music:
Klaus Badelt
Costume Designer:
Suttirat Anne Larlarb

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