3 Stars
Year Released: 1998
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 102 minutes
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After the widely praised Big Night (1996), Stanley Tucci is back with an equally impressive effort called The Impostors, a charming film that harkens back to the classical Hollywood comedies of the ’30 and ’40s. Arthur and Maurice (Tucci and Oliver Platt) are two out of work actors desperate for a job. After accidentally upsetting a fellow thespian (Alfred Molina), the duo find themselves on the lam, wanted by the police for a crime they did not commit. While trying to avoid the authorities, the two men hide in a crate only to find themselves subsequently stranded on an ocean liner bound for Paris with an eccentric group of guests and staff that include a suicidal lounge singer (Steve Buscemi), a manly tennis player (Billy Connolly) who likes men, a nasty head of staff (Campbell Scott) whose disposition more than resembles a famous German dictator, and the aforementioned upset actor. The Impostors is an outrageous farce, a slapstick comedy for people who like to think while they laugh. Tucci has assembled a dream ensemble cast that has a blast chewing up the scenery. Platt and Tucci, in particular, make a great comic team that clearly invokes classic duos like Laurel and Hardy. However, Platt is the real star here. He’s a sorely underrated actor and so it is nice to see him in a substantial role that lets him showcase his considerable talents. The Impostors is an endlessly entertaining film — one of the year’s best.

Posted on September 28, 1998 in Reviews by

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