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Impromptu (1991)


Director:James Lapine
Cast:Judy Davis, Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson
Genre:Film, Comedy

By Luisa F. Ribeiro | Posted

If a foray into the hedonistic, bohemian world of Art laced with barbed humor so sharp it will make your sides bleed from laughing appeals to you, try this: a hilarious look at love and stardom, 19th-century style. Impromptu gathers together a handful of the 1830s' leading artistic lights (and spoiled brats)—George Sand, Franz Lizst, Eugene Delacroix, Alfred De Mussett, and superstar (and near invalid) Frederic Chopin—who gad about Paris quibbling over who has more talent and more lovers. When aspiring cultural maven the Duchess of D'Antan (Emma Thompson, sparkling as something of a boob) invites all out to the country for a weekend of fun and games, the gang settles into needling one another over romantic dalliances past and present. The headstrong, unrelentingly determined Sand (Judy Davis, cracking like a whip) turns her attention to the seemingly hapless Chopin (Hugh Grant, who, aside from being burdened with a really bad wig, puts up a good struggle). The supporting players (especially Mandy Patinkin as De Mussett and Julian Sands and Bernadette Peters as Liszt and his mistress) are all on their toes—spitting, clawing and biting their way through a lively (if historically inaccurate) portrait of delightful excess, directed with spirit by James Lapine from a salty script by his wife, Sarah Kernochan.

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