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Hurlyburly

directed by Anthony Drazen

featuring Sean Penn, Kevin Spacey

Eddie and Mickey (Sean Penn, Kevin Spacey) produce films, share girlfriends, and live in nice a house in the Hollywood Hills. Their two favorite hobbies are cocaine and competitive sex. Close friend Phil (Chaz Palmintari) suffers from a very high sperm count, a total lack of any social grace, and will head butt ANYONE to get to the top. When not on a non-stop talking jag, Eddie and Mickey are sort of fighting over Darlene. Mostly, they yell at each other on cell phones and snort Bolivian Health Food. After an hour or so, Phil commits suicide. This bums everyone, so they all take some more coke and screw a few more random women. Finally, the credits roll. This is the high point of the film -- you are now free to leave the theater.

   If I had to pick someone to play an obnoxious Hollywood producer who spent all his time wired on blow, but deep down was basically a heartless bastard, Mr. Penn would be my first choice. As soon as he appears on screen, you know not to be in the same time zone with him. He's THAT good an actor. Oh, Gary Shandling wanders through the film occasionally, but all he accomplishes is one baby poop joke. And as baby poop jokes go, it's sort of weak.

   Besides showing us the incredibly glamorous daily life of the rich and debauched, Hurlyburly also tackles some of the great questions of the '90s - is T&A better than football? Are cocaine and existentialism mutually reconcilable? Is that a caterpillar glued to Sean's upper lip? Yes. No. Can't tell. In that order. Whew! I'm glad that's all settled.

--Tico Bruhi