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Friday, February 5, 2021

The Impostors (1998)

Set in 1930s New York, two out of work actors (Stanley Tucci, Oliver Platt) escape from the police by stowing away on a luxury liner on its way to Paris. Once on board, they discover a shipload of eccentric passengers, two murder plots and a terrorist who plans on blowing the ship up! Written and directed by Stanley Tucci (BIG NIGHT), this loving homage to the screwball comedies of the 30s starts off shakily but soon finds its wings and provides a delightful farcical journey. Too bad the title SHIP OF FOOLS had already been taken for it would have been the perfect title for this piece of zaniness. Most contemporary attempts at screwball comedy try too hard (WHAT'S UP DOC? anyone?) and call attention to themselves but this one remains light and Tucci keeps the buoyancy bouncing right through to the end. There's a charming dance number by the entire ensemble cast at the end of the movie but unfortunately, it's played under the end credits which makes it difficult to see. The excellent ensemble cast of farceurs include Woody Allen, Allison Janney, Lili Taylor, Steve Buscemi, Tony Shalhoub, Alfred Molina, Isabella Rossellini, Hope Davis, Billy Connolly, Campbell Scott, Richard Jenkins, Dana Ivey and Matt McGrath. 

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