Ready to Wear (Pret-a-Porter) | Chicago Reader

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After Health probably the worst of Robert Altman's Nashville spin-offs, disappointing in the thinness of its characters and the overall toothlessness of its satire. Altman and cowriter Barbara Shulgasser take on the French fashion world, and among the many plot strands are an amorous reunion of old lovers played by Marcello Mastroianni and Sophia Loren (with a direct allusion to one of their scenes in Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow), a rivalry between three fashion magazine editors (Linda Hunt, Sally Kellerman, Tracey Ullman) hoping to hire a top fashion photographer (Stephen Rea), a liaison between two designers (Richard E. Grant and Forest Whitaker) depicted with a kind of snickering homophobia that seems 20 years out of date, an impromptu romance between two American reporters (Tim Robbins and Julia Roberts), a Marshall Field's retailer who likes to dress in drag (Danny Aiello), an unconvincing corporate takeover involving Anouk Aimee (the closest thing to a real character in the movie), Rupert Everett, and Lyle Lovett, and an idiotic roving TV interviewer (Kim Basinger). Many of these strands appear to be setups for surprises or payoffs that either never come or are muffled when they do (some last-minute cutting by Miramax probably didn't help). If all you're looking for is some light entertainment, this 1994 comedy probably won't bore you. With Lauren Bacall, Lili Taylor, Teri Garr, Jean Rochefort, Michel Blanc, Jean-Pierre Cassel, and various cameos by celebrities playing themselves (including Harry Belafonte and Cher).

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