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Shelly here seems to be making a lot of fun of art house films and does so with real aplomb. Her landlord, Roger Rees, is a college professor who lets her rent her place free (very likely explaining her ability to pay the fortune teller), but has painted a door-size face of her on his apartment entrance and constantly professes his undying love for her. She'll have none of it. Instead she prefers the ministrations of a younger man, about her own age, played nicely by Tim Guinee, who winds up being unable to satisfy her physically because of his peculiar psychology that turns to Russian literature just at the wrong moments. Her girlfriend "falls in love" with two gay men, partners, who chatter endlessly about artsy stuff that means not a whole lot at all.
And, on a quiet Village street, she witnesses a murder, or two, or three, committed by a tall bearded man who has a few more personalities than the average bear. A banana-eating cop doesn't believe her when she tells him what she saw.
Though this all sounds completely disjointed, it's just this fragmented gathering of wacky shenanigans that makes this so much fun. Shelly is really smart and doesn't hesitate to show it; she could be guilty of a bit of puffery--look how smart I really am--but the sharp wit and humor here is so abundant, it more than makes up for any possible self-conscious preening.
This is a short (80 minutes) film, but really groovy. Highly recommended.
Rest in peace, Mrs. Shelly...
I just want to warn everyone who is considering buying this DVD that picture quality is awful. It's almost like watching pirated VCD from China or badly ripped divx...
It was more than worth the price of buying this (on Amazon) genuinely wonderful, low-budget -- if also somewhat grainy-looking -- cinematic 1996 gem of Shelly's, just to hear her, on the director's commentary, happily and playfully reminiscing at-length about its making, some five years earlier.
Basically, this is at times a very Woody Allen-like story (Allen's superb "Purple Rose Of Cairo" came to mind more than once as I happily watched Shelly's endlessly-engaging film) about a woman (played by Shelly) who doesn't know if she is crazy, or the world she's living in is crazy. (In one of the film's many nice, endearing touches, Louise Lasser -- who co-starred in a number of Woody Allen's early, 1970s-era movies -- plays a fortune teller whom Shelly's character, "Donna", eventually enlists to help her with a variety of problems Donna's experiencing).
At times supremely silly (but always incredibly likable), "Sudden Manhattan" is verrrrry unlike ANY OTHER movie I've seen so far of Shelly's -- in terms of both the script, and also her direction -- which, I think, makes it something of an absolute "Must-See" movie for any of her legions of avid fans out there.Read more ›
To sum up,it a short,cute,off-beat flick.Enjoy.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
a bit hokey...but the late Adrienne Shelly is the best....even better than Rosanna ArquettePublished 12 months ago by ozwalt
One of my all time favorite movies. Adrienne Shelley's character Dawn lives a life eerily similar to my own. I too am in a 'vortex'.Published 17 months ago by Penelope Lovecraft
I thought this movie was rather boring, which I regret to say given that I very much like Adrienne Shelly and most of her work. Read morePublished on October 19, 2010 by BruceL
funny,funny, funny..... in a funny sort of way! if you like your films odd,as i do. this is for you! Read morePublished on July 9, 2007 by John P. Janssen