Last Summer in the Hamptons
Comedy / Drama
Last Summer in the Hamptons
Comedy / Drama
Filmed entirely on location in East Hampton, Long Island, "Last Summer in the Hamptons" concerns a large theatrical family spending the last weekend of their summer together at the decades-old family retreat which economic circumstances have forced them to put on the market. Victoria Foyt plays a young Hollywood actress whose visit wreaks havoc on the stellar group of family and friends - led by matriarch Viveca Lindfors and made up of an extraordinary mix of prominent New York actors, directors, and playwrights. In the course of a very unusual weekend, comic as well as serious situations arise, and the family's secrets - of which there are many - begin to unravel.
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
Downloaded 10,100 times
August 29, 2018 at 09:24 PM
Jaglom finally gets it right
This film is a real triumph for Henry Jaglom. It's his first really mature film. His previous works have been patchy, to say the least. Though never uninteresting, as works of art they are flawed by Jaglom's personal fascinations which might not necessarily be shared by others. He's come a long way since his first movie "A Safe Place" where he gathered the likes of Jack Nicholson, Orson Welles and Tuesday Weld, but still managed to produce a confused, over indulgent and basically forgettable film.
However all is forgiven. Jaglom finally gets it right. The characters are truly interesting, more so of course, if you have an interest in the theater. While keenly critical of the often insufferable egos on display, there's an underlying affection for them all which is genuinely winning.
Jaglom has assembled a large, varied and extremely colorful cast playing their characters with a level of identification that it's almost like watching a documentary. After these are actors playing actors, or in the case of Jon Robin Baitz, a playwright playing a playwright. And then there's the luminous Viveca Lindfors at the helm. The scene of her watching her past movies on television and commenting on them, has a touching poignancy.
Lindfors is fascinating to watch. It's a role she must have relished and one far more revealing than she may have realized. While she's wise of life and the theater, she's manipulating, demanding and all in all highly egoistic. Lindfors was a beauty and an undoubtedly very capable actress, particular in her later roles. She made some 100 movies and yet not one of them is in any way remarkable or indeed memorable. Yet to watch her in this semi-documentary role, one senses she has a sense of self importance as an actress not at all related to what was by all accounts a mediocre career.
"Last Summer in the Hamptons" has a sense of celebration about it. While the celebration is the production of Chekov in the garden of wonderful house about to be sold, it's a celebration of the theater itself and the dreams, frustrations and passions of those who are captivated by the illusions and delusions of the theatrical ethos.
Jaglom brings his whine fest to the Hamptons.
Henry Jaglom is the Woody Allen light (0 calories, 0 talent) of American film. His films (most of which he writes) are filled with unctuous pseudo intellectuals who do a vast amount of talking and very little listening. Filled with self importance they name drop ferociously and go from dull and tiresome conversation into mawkish rages that border on infantile.
In Last Summer in the Hamptons we are given the same crowd, this time as a theatrical family faced with selling there Long Island estate. Along with friends they all gather at the home for the last performance of the annual summer's end play. Enter your cross section cast of smarmy empty self important characters. The Matriarch, the Hollywood actress, father son playwrights at odds with each other and assorted precocious types age 16 to 60. Jaglom then patches the rest of the film together with mix and match conversations done in mostly two shot with some of the most annoying use of zoom this side of Spike Lee.
The dialogue which sounds like it was mostly improvised is stilted and flat save for some hammy flourishes by Viveca Lindfors. As Oona the LA actress, Victoria Foyt acts as if she's stranded on a raft in the middle of the ocean, clumsily pausing and searching for words, groping the other actors as if drowning. Given co-writer credit you would think she might have a better grasp of the script.
The rest of the cast is equally unremarkable because of Jaglom's sloppy inability as a director to get his actors to raise the heat above tepid. It's clear Jaglom's working on a shoestring budget knows a few people in the business and makes the most of what he has. I usually admire scrappy auteurs like Herzog and Fuller who have to sacrifice for their independence, but with that freedom must come form, content and talent, none of which Jaglom displays in this pompous loser.
Read more IMDb reviews
Users and Takers
A young Hollywood actress, eager for an Actor's Studio-style broadening experience, has the "priviledge" of visiting the eccentric dysfunctional members of an extended theater family at their estate on Long Island, the matriarch of which is herself a former Hollywood screen actress.
Right off the bat, we can determine that this is not a film for the general movie-viewing public, because it simply isn't. Not too many folks care to sit through a jumbled talk-fest in which a bunch of self-important, self-obsessed, often abrasively annoying "theater people" cut into each, talk over each and steal off each other's plates.
But as bad as it sounds, the film is- at its heart- is a truly biting comedy in the droll Woody Allen/Robert Altman style, which takes well-deserved swipes at these type of characters. They're annoying and shallow for a reason. Nevertheless, if one has never at some point experienced these type of personalities in their own lives, this film could very well be meaningless and mind-numbingly pointless.
The central character, the young actress played by Victoria Foyt, seems at first to be the most sympathetic and well-grounded participant despite her nagging insecurities about her craft. But still, she is seen at every turn transforming her visit into a suck-up fest as she tries to garner an ever-changing toehold into theater from whomever will grant her one.
For those who are game- and it does get better with repeated viewings- there is a lot of humanity and warmth under all the dysfunction on display, and Foyt and Lindfors are standouts in a cast that does a good job of inhabiting characters who clearly need to get over themselves.