The Misadventures of Margaret

Photo Courtesy of the Sundance Film Festival

Review, by Richard Schwartz

With a respectful nod to Preston Sturges and Joseph Mankiewicz, The Misadventures of Margaret is a joyously effervescent romp in the hallways of Hollywood's golden age of comedy. Effortlessly blending drama and zaniness, Brian Skeet and his talented troupe of actors have created a sly little gem of comic seduction.

An accomplished novelist, Margaret Nathan begins to question her safe, ordered, and monogamous existence as she turns to adapting the erotic diaries of an eighteenth-century French philosopher. Ignoring her publisher's warnings ("life is not a Jane Austen novel"), Margaret whipcracks and away to the philosopher's chateau, taking a risky sabbatical from her gorgeous but bookish husband. Aroused by the diaries' libidinous pourings and impudent spirit, Margaret fixates on her own journey toward intellectual and, if que sera sera, sexual enlightenment. Unfortunately, in the intervening century her chateau has become a convent of singing nuns, thereby limiting extramarital options to a French sound recordist named Martin Court (Patrick Bruel). Managing to return to New York unsullied and with conscience intact, Margaret becomes more committed to "throwing her last scruple to the wind" when she suspects her husband of sleeping with one of his doe-eyed students. Will Margaret survive her "misadventures"? Will her marriage survive her pursuit of the perfect narrative climax?

With standout performances from the whirling-dervish doyenne of independent comedy, Parker Posey, and her esteemed supporting cast (Brooke Shields has never been funnier!), Brian Skeet serves up a delectable cocktail of satire, slapstick, and sentiment.

- Rebecca Yeldham

Directed by: Brian Skeet
Written by: Brian Skeet, Cathleen Schine
Starring: Parker Posey, Jeremy Northam, Brooke Shields, Craig Chester, Elizabeth McGovern, Corbin Bernsen
Produced by: Ian Benson
Original Music by: St. Etienne

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