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Unmade Beds [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Aimee Copp, Michael De Stefano, Brenda Monte, Mikey Russo, Heather Feeney
  • Directors: Nicholas Barker
  • Writers: Nicholas Barker
  • Producers: Gretchen McGowan, Michael Porte, Sam Bickley, Steve Wax
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: New Yorker Video
  • VHS Release Date: August 20, 1999
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 1567301746
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #748,862 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

At first glance, Nicholas Barker's documentary about four New York City singles seeking partners through personal ads looks like it's trying to be a hipper, East Coast version of the Cameron Crowe hit Singles. The characters--two men and two women who play themselves--address the camera with candid, earthy, and bitter observations about the dating scene. And the film titillates the viewer with male and female nudity within the first five minutes. But where Singles was brightened by goofy humor and a hard-hitting soundtrack, Unmade Beds is weighed down by its characters' desperation and a mostly lackluster musical score. While two of the characters are looking for long-term relationships, the more interesting pair have shallower goals: Brenda, a shapely Italian woman in her 40s, wants a man who will pay her bills in exchange for "sex a couple of times a month, maybe four." Mikey, a 54-year-old self-described Jack Nicholson/Harvey Keitel type, is looking for babes to take home for the night and thinks nothing of walking out on a blind date who turns out to be a "mutt." Ordinarily, these are not people you would invite into your living room; however, Barker weaves their stories together in a way that provides sardonic and occasionally entertaining social commentary on the mating game. To emphasize the film's motif of voyeurism, the soliloquies are interspersed with frequent, almost painterly shots peeking through the windows of random apartment dwellers engaged in activities ranging from vacuuming to intercourse. These interludes are the most real and compelling moments in the film, and it is a shame that Barker does not let the viewer see more of these other, less desperate New Yorkers' lives. --Larisa Lomacky Moore

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Jack on November 5, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
"Unmade Beds" cleverly uses the motif of the dating game to take a clear-eyed, penetrating look at modern neurosis and how the myriad distractions of urban life mirror our fractured sense of self. The four characters are initially quite sympathetic in their quest for love, but as the film progresses they reveal a pathological sense of self-loathing and meaninglessness, in turn making them very unattractive. It's a very entertaining and vastly underrated film, and the soundtrack is in fact very witty and contemporary. Recommended.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 6, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This film is an insightful look at loneliness. The great part about it is that its not obsessed with youth -- the youngest person profiled is 28. Four people vent about being single in the big city. This film is at times cruel, sad, and hilarious. Reportedly, parts of the film were scripted but even then it's amazing how candid and relaxed these people appear before the camera. The director whittled down dozens of profiles to focus on four people in particular and he got four compelling stories. Well worth a rental and much, much better than another "documentary" about a poor shlep who filmed his dating life in L.A.., "20 Dates". Unfortunately, that film got much more publicity than "Unmade Beds".
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John Lefteratos on October 12, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Nicholas Barker gives us a voyeuristic view of the life of four single people living in NYC. At times it feels like a documentary, but the truth is, some parts of the movie were scripted.Although some moments in the movie were brilliantly funny. Barker does a good job of capturing the characters feelings on dating in NYC. If you've ever lived in New York or any other big city, and been single, you'll appreciate this movie. If you've ever thought you were a loser because you couldn't get a date, see this movie. One of the things Barker does in this movie is focus on some negative traits of the characters; almost as if he is mocking them. Therefore making the viewer pity the characters in the movie and life in New York. Over all a funny yet sad comment on single life in the big city.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Steve E. Wax on September 10, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
I thought the soundtrack on this film was sensational -- and I was completely captivated by the story of these four singles lives. I highly, highly recommend you buy a copy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
I found the art in this book version of the cult classic Unmade Beds to be riveting. It makes an excellent companion to the movie, of which I am a big fan.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By LGwriter on February 28, 2007
Format: DVD
Although this film was made in 1999 or 2000 (sometime around there), there's little doubt that the worries, hangups, and issues revealed in this much too overlooked documentary are still very much relevant today.

Nicholas Baker, the filmmaker, focuses on the dating concerns of four New Yorkers, all different--two men and two women. While each is noticeably different from the others, what soon becomes apparent is that there is a similarity in perspective in at least two of them--blatant selfishness. The other two, more sympathetic, are just as fascinating because of their intense involvement in trying to find the right person, knowing full well each has what is commonly perceived to be a serious problem from the point of view of dating--one is overweight (female) and the other is short (male).

What makes this film so compelling is the extremes to which some (maybe a lot more than some) people will go to get the right person into their lives, and especially, making sure the WRONG person does not play a part. Hence the man who is not short--and who is really sleazy--has all kinds of protective measures established to insure that he does not wind up with a "dog", and the non-overweight woman does whatever she can in her power to make sure she gets a rich guy.

A fascinating film to view if you want to see the petty and base sides of human behavior, revealed in all their glory.

Definitely recommended.
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