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Damsels in Distress [Blu-ray]

54 customer reviews

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Damsels in Distress [Blu-ray] + The Last Days of Disco (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] + Metropolitan (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Whit Stillman’s Damsels in Distress is a wonderfully off-beat comedy about a student, Violet (Greta Gerwig), who seeks to transform life at her college. With friends Rose (Megalyn Echikunwoke) & Heather (Carrie MacLemore) she takes under wing seemingly nice transfer student Lily (Analeigh Tipton) who soon attracts the attentions of both “playboy-operator” Charlie (Adam Brody) & dreamboat grad student Xavier (Hugo Becker) -- but it’s Violet who will end up crushed.

Writer-director Whit Stillman let more than a decade lapse between 1998's Last Days of Disco and 2012's Damsels in Distress. Happily, the Whit and wisdom (and slightly pixilated screwball style) did not diminish one iota during Stillman's layoff: Damsels is literate and daffy in equal measure. It's tempting to describe the movie's subject as Clueless-in-college, as it features a group of young women who share a very specific set of theories and rules about behavior between the sexes. In particular, Violet (Greta Gerwig) and her sidekicks Rose (Megalyn Echikunwoke) and Heather (Carrie MacLemore) descend upon Lily (Analeigh Tipton), a newcomer at a tony Ivy League (or Ivy League-ish) university, with a mind toward "helping" the gawky--but by no means helpless, really--coed. Violet is full of curious ideas about men, which she delivers with full confidence, even though her theories don't play all that well in reality. Gerwig (from Greenberg and many indie titles) makes a meal of this role, her wide-eyed sincerity and deadpan drawl perfectly suited to Stillman's cheerfully stylized dialogue. In fact, the entire film takes place inside a sun-washed cocoon even more tightly knit than Stillman's previous movies; there's little hint of the real world here, just a comedy of manners closer to the universe of Oscar Wilde and Preston Sturges than the place you went to college. And yet some truths come along, which gives a tang to the wackiness. And now, everybody do the international dance craze known as the Sambola! --Robert Horton

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Analeigh Tipton, Hugo Becker, Carrie MacLemore, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Caitlin FitzGerald
  • Directors: Whit Stillman
  • Producers: Whit Stillman, Martin Shafer, Liz Glotzer
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 25, 2012
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0081FSMQU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,734 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Damsels in Distress [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Paul Allaer TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 1, 2012
Format: DVD
This is the long-awaited return of writer-director Whit Stillman, who we last saw with the delicious 1998's "Last Days of Disco" movie.

"Damsels in Distress" (98 min.) brings the story set at a fictional Northeast university in which a group of young women, namely Violet (played by Greta Gerwig), Rose (played by Megalyn Echikunwoke) and Heather (played by Carrie MacLemore) take a transfer student Lily (played by Analeigh Tipton) under their wings. The group is determined to bring a better life to students, running the Suicide Center (which they rename the Suice Prevention Center). Of course that is not counting for the guy troubles that may, and will, occur. One of those is a fellow named Xavier. There is a hilarious scene in which Lily tries to explain that Xavier is spelled with an X, when one of the other girls say that it is surely it is spelled with a Z, as in "Zorro", at which point Violet surmises that the letters X and Z are pronouned the same when not ending in a word, ha! Gerwig's performance pretty much carries this movie, as she shows her vulnerability and you can't help but rooting for her all the way.

This light and quirky tone never leaves the movie, and I found myself quite smiling a lot (but not laughing out loud). Truth be told, the "tone" of the movie is better than the actual plot (which I won't give away here, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out). In all, this is a quirky little but loveable movie. This is MILES away from your Hollywood standard fare, and if you are into such type movie, I would readily recommend this. Nothing earth-shattering, just plain likeable. In that sense, "Damsels in Distress" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. Ferrigno on October 13, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
After reading reviews I thought this film would be much different than his others but now that I have seen it I think it was quite similar. It is critical, smart, interesting, and funny. Some of the dialogue is absolutely hilarious. Whit Stillman is the only filmmaker I know of that writes pretty realistic yet comic films about the elite. It is fascinating to me to see how these people think. This film, even more than his others, shows how sad and pathetic the people that run the world really are. Sure they are oppressing just about everyone on earth and their actions cause untold devastation and suffering yet they believe they are doing the right thing "God's Work". This is a scathing yet sympathetic critique of the American aristocracy. One would think this would be impossible but here it is. He really has matured as a filmmaker. This is his most complex and nuanced work yet. Also, as with most cutting edge art, this film will likely require repeated exposure for one to learn to really appreciate its brilliance. I look forward to many further viewings.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By folderol50 on May 30, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
It's not the old Stillman, but rather an uneven and mainly inept attempt to satirize college life by someone clearly out of touch with actual undergraduates. There is a running joke that frat boys are so stupid they never learned their colors. There is a frat guy named Thor who is excited at the end to finally learn the names of the colors of the rainbow. One of the main female characters has no lines in the movie except to describe various men as "playboy or operator types" in a english accent. The only really interesting character in the film is involved in a bizarre and jarring subplot involving anal sex. Altogether I was not able to see what Stillman was aiming at here.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Carol Peckham on April 17, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
First, I am a major Whit Stillman fan. Last Days of Disco, Barcelona, and the wonderful Metropolitan are among my top favorite movies. Smart, funny, literate, observant of a tribe -- the WASPs -- no one bothers with anymore. But this movie is incomprehensible. It's almost as if anyone who does a movie with Greta Gerwig becomes weirdly spellbound and ends up making her film about her horrible dancing (see of don't see Hannah Ah). Stop already! The movie starts out with an interesting premise -- attractive young girls at a mediocre Northeastern college who are mean-girl opposites. They want to save students from committing suicide by teaching them to tap dance. On the look out for depressed under grads they are well-meaning but intrusive. It's promising beginning, however, disintegrates into a tangle of overly eccentric relationships that make no emotional sense at all and that pop up and disappear as if Stillman is making the movie up as he goes along. It ends for no reason except to allow Greta to gamely dance with a throw-away young man through a 30-like set with a Fred Astaire musical bit. And I was so looking forward to this movie!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By David Kleist on May 5, 2012
Verified Purchase
Life, perhaps, is an allusion. Therefore, gentle reader, please move on to a different review if you don't smile in Pavlovian fashion when hearing uttered the name "Whit Stillman."

Recently I learned that Stillman's Last Days of Disco has yet to break even in sales. Alas, how long we NCAs (see below) have waited since they booked that clown! Damsels in Distress, gratefully, is scarcely stillborn-- rather, it's more Still. If you have worn laser holes into your Criterion-Collection copies of Metropolitan, Barcelona, and The Last Days of Disco, then Damsels will not disappoint. However, if you are unfamiliar with the signature dialogue, settings, motifs, and characters of this returned-to-America auteur, perhaps Damsels will disappoint. Here, I write for the initiates. (And for these, I whisper, "Watch closely: the professor and one of the two off-campus waitresses are familiar friends from the trilogy!")

What's to tell? There are four principle characters, all matriculated at Ivy-Shrouded Seven Oaks College after prepping in the usual way. While it is true that Greta Gerwig's Violet is the heroine, Carrie MacLemore as Heather, Megalyn Echikunwoke as Rose, and Analeigh Tipton as Lily make Damsels another ensemble piece.

I live in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania, and while many who bedroom here commute to Manhattan, it is the home of Mack Trucks and Bethlehem Steel, which is sufficient explanation for why during both my first viewing of Metropolitan and of Damsels (in the selfsame indy-theatre complex), I annoyed many in the audience with my vulgar guffaws and howls of laughter while the rest of the moviegoers were silent.

Stillman, gratifyingly, is at the top of his game in Damsels. As with the trilogy, I will never grow tired of watching this film.
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