Directed by Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman
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“There’s nothing quite so tragique as a boring eccentric,” and that’s just the type of person The Extra Man is full of, said Kyle Smith in the New York Post. This “plotless, laughless, zero-impact ” adaptation of Jonathan Ames’ novel stars Kevin Kline and Paul Dano as a pair of odd ducks who become New York roommates. Kline plays an unemployed dandy who makes a living escorting wealthy widows to society affairs. Dano is a prep-school teacher, with a secret fondness for cross-dressing, who has moved to Manhattan to become the next F. Scott Fitzgerald. The success of Ames’ quirky novel depended on “the lightest touch,” said Elizabeth Weitzman in the New York Daily News. While directors Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman make a sincere effort to capture the book’s sense of humor, its “unexpected insights feel more like gentle amusements here.” Fortunately, Kline and Dano keep the film from seeming merely peculiar, said Melissa Anderson in The Village Voice. Together, they pull off the most challenging type of characters: “exotic yet recognizable New Yorkers.”
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