Bright Lights, Big City | Chicago Reader

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Jay McInerney's slender 1984 novel about yuppie despair gets treated with a lot of respect, pizzazz, and talent; it remains superficial, but in many respects the movie improves on the original. Director James Bridges and cinematographer Gordon Willis punch up McInerney's script with a lot of dressy visuals, Michael J. Fox does a respectable job as the lead (a young writer who loses his wife and his job, and snorts a lot of coke), and Steely Dan's Donald Fagen supplies the disco score. A hollow view of hollowness with a very polished surface; with Kiefer Sutherland, Swoosie Kurtz, Phoebe Cates, Frances Sternhagen, Tracy Pollan, Jason Robards, Dianne Wiest, and, in cameos, John Houseman and William Hickey. The hero works for a magazine called Gotham, which is a transparent cover for the New Yorker.

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