Fall

1997, Movie, NR, 94 mins

Review

FALL
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A narcissistic, ego-driven gabfest courtesy of indie auteur Eric Schaeffer, who appears not to have figured out that therapy is cheaper than moviemaking. Everything rests on Schaeffer's shoulders: He's the writer, the director and and the self-serving star (a sort of poor man's Daniel Auteuil) of this exercise in wishfulfillment, which takes a Harlequin romance premise and tarts it up with generic erotic fantasy. Are we really meant to believe that Schaeffer's self-effacing yet conceited Michael Shiver -- a novelist turned New York cabbie -- just slays supermodel Sarah Easton (Amanda De Cadenet) with his sexual prowess and love of the little pleasures of day-to-day life? Their torrid affair -- complete with full frontal nudity of Schaeffer but, in a self-involved departure from the norm, not of de Cadenet -- is complicated both by Sarah's marriage to a rich, Italian pretty boy and by the fact that after her initial enchantment with slumming, she's ready to step back into her glamorous life. Schaeffer the wordsmith and Schaeffer the thespian love their combined voice; they appear to have ganged up on Schaeffer the director and convinced him to treat us to frequent voice-over readings of wretched poetry and overwrought love letters, composed and delivered during various dark nights of the soul. And when Schaeffer is done desecrating New York landmarks with his melodramatic excretions, he takes his self-loving ways to Paris. We all know of the dangers of low self-esteem, but there's also such a thing as excessive self-esteem: Does the fact that Schaeffer is a sufferer mean the rest of us have to suffer too? leave a comment

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