Completing the loosely connected trilogy that also includes Metropolitan and Barcelona, writer-director Whit Stillman brings his signature style to this casually structured but acerbically witty ode to... well, to the last days of disco. Set in New York during 1980-81, the film follows its half-dozen central characters onto the strobe-lit dance floor of The Club--the anonymous name Stillman gave to the central setting, knowing at the time that his film would be released in close proximity to 54, the bigger-budget movie about the legendary and infamous nightclub Studio 54. In fact, Stillman's film captures the same period with greater accuracy, and draws us into the waning disco craze with more incisive wit and deft handling of a first-rate cast. The film's casual plot revolves around six recent college graduates, and Stillman charts their clashes and intimacies with a keen sense of human foibles and frailties, pausing throughout for such characteristic touches as a hilarious conversation about the sexual politics of Disney's Lady and the Tramp or the homoerotic subtext in an episode of Wild Kingdom. Sharp dialogue is in rich abundance here, and through it all Stillman captures the fading glory of disco as his characters make the transition toward adult responsibilities. It's here that we see how this film is subtly intertwined with Stillman's earlier work, and where we gain a fuller and more satisfying appreciation of a filmmaker who has carved a singular niche for himself in the world of independent movies. --Jeff Shannon
There is something depressing about it and it's not really about dogs. Except for some superficial bow-wow stuff at the start, the dogs all represent human types which is where it gets into real trouble. Lady, the ostensible protagonist, is a fluffy blond cocker spaniel with absolutely nothing on the brain. She's great looking but, let's be honest, incredibly insipid. Tramp, the love interest is a smarmy braggart of the most obnoxious kind, an oily jail bird out for a piece of tail or whatever he can get.
No, he's a self confessed chicken thief; an all around sleaze ball. What's the function of a film of this kind? Essentially it's a primer about love and marriage directed at very young people, imprinting on their little psyches that smooth talking delinquents recently escaped from the local pound are a good match for nice girls in sheltered homes. When in ten years the icky human version of Tramp shows up around the house their hormones will be racing and no one will understand why. Films like this program women to adore jerks.