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The Extra Man

2010

R CC
3.2 out of 5 stars (44) IMDb 5.9/10

Kevin Kline leads an all-star cast as a playwright making a living as an escort to wealthy society widows, who forms an unusual friendship with an aspiring young writer in this charming screwball comedy.

Starring:
Paul Dano, Marian Seldes
Runtime:
1 hour, 47 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Comedy
Director Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini
Starring Paul Dano, Marian Seldes
Supporting actors Celia Weston, Patti D'Arbanville, John C. Reilly, Dan Hedaya, Kevin Kline, Jason Butler Harner, Alex Burns, Katie Holmes, Alicia Goranson, Lynn Cohen, John Pankow, Lewis Payton Jr., Marisa Ryan, Elizabeth Blancke-Biggs, Victoria Barabas, John Leighton, Lauren Weisman, Beth Fowler
Studio Magnolia
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Amazon Video
Writer Jonathan Ames seems to be a media darling these days. Creator of the successful HBO television series Bored to Death, he's now making the leap to the big screen with this adaptation of his 1998 novel, The Extra Man. Two adjectives that immediately spring to mind, whether speaking of Ames's fiction, non-fiction, or his life, are quirky and comic. And those are definitely the two adjectives that describe this film, co-written and directed by husband and wife team Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman.

It's the search-for-identity story of Louis Ives (Paul Dano), a young English teacher we see fired in the film's opening scene. Louis uses the setback to follow his heart to Manhattan, where he hopes to pursue a career as a writer. His first priority is to find a home, which leads him to answer the apartment-sharing ad of the endlessly eccentric Henry Harrison (Kevin Kline). Soon, the introverted Louis gets sucked into Henry's wacky world, peopled with the likes of elderly billionairess Vivian Cudlip (Marian Seldes) and Klingon-like neighbor Gershon (John C. Reilly).

This is an odd story filled with quirky and sometimes off-putting characters. There's something anachronistic about Dano's Louis, exhibited outwardly in old-fashioned manners and vintagey three-piece suits and inwardly in his Gatsby-esque fantasy life. Classic fiction isn't the only thing Louis fantasizes about, though. In fact, he's tentatively exploring his sexuality and trying to come to terms with transvestite urges, all while pining for a pretty co-worker (Katie Holmes).

Henry, on the other hand, is larger than life, and Kevin Kline throws himself fully into the role--literally, as it happens, when the character dances. Henry isn't particularly nice.
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Format: DVD
"The Extra Man" is a great comic experience, a joyful movie providing a lot of laughs with the sheer enjoyment of life bubbling in it.
The movie is about two fruitcakes, two off-the-wall flakes who get together and blend their nuttiness into a friendship. Louis (Paul Danol) is kind of unworldly, a dreamer, a teacher in an exclusive prep school in Princeton, New Jersey. Louis has an urge to be a cross dresser, and is turned on by women's undergarments. One day while holding up a bra to his chest in the faculty room, he's caught by a matronly staff member, is canned, and decides to go to New York to become a writer. He has always admired Gatsby.
In New York he answers an ad for apartment sharing and is interviewed by Henry Harrison, an older "gentleman" (brilliantly played by Kevin Kline), the apartment's resident tenant, who has weird, iconoclastic and screwy ideas about everything. Henry is broke but he's a walker, an extra man who accompanies women to dinners and events. He's not a gigolo, but he does like the good life with his wealthy older women friends of the Palm Beach circuit. Henry is his own worst enemy, is finicky, touchy, hypercritical and turns people off.
A neighbor in the apartment building is Gershon (John C. Reilly) another kook who is very funny because of his high-pitched voice (adopted for this movie). I think this is the kind of movie Charles Dickens would have loved, because the characters are done in broad strokes of caricature. Anyone who has lived in Manhattan will know that these oddballs would fit right in. In the movie nothing seems totally realistic, but that's the essence of comedy: the odd, the eccentric, off-the-wall fun.
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Format: Blu-ray
I just watched this last night, and to be frank I don't understand the hate. I felt that Kevin Kline is a hilarious character in this film, he lights up the screen every chance he can get. He did great in this. Paul Dano is also one of my favorite actors, and I thought he did great as well. The supporting characters like John C. Reilly and Katie Holmes did great as well. I found it very entertaining and I would definitely watch it again. I would highly recommend it.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Katie Holmes is not a very good actress and not interesting to watch but no matter--Kevin Kline is all of the above and more. What an actor he is--comedic, tragic and everything in between. He takes a real curmudgeon and makes us root for him--Kline's ability to play multiple layers is astounding, but he's turned in great performances for 3 decades. And this is definitely one of them. Paul Dano is also wonderful. We should mention the script and story are heart breaking and beautiful. Well worth a watch,
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Such an interesting quirky little movie. Good actors with a story full of humanity and humor. It was not what I expected, which made it even more delightful. And, really, I would walk over hot coals for a Kevin Kline movie.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I found this movie to be more introspective than expected. The characters are edgy, but entertaining and appeal to the viewer's compassion for the loneliness in all people. The young man's journey to find himself and the elderly man's difficulty with aging is interesting.
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Format: Amazon Video
Not the perfect movie, but the perfect role. Kline's inept charisma is quite charming as the odd little man trying to be dashingly bold in spite of his crumbling existence. Romantic and whimsical as the seemingly unessential man defines his essential existence. We are all free to dream and create our dream reality. Thumbs up.
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