The Next Big Thing

"Good"

The Next Big Thing Review


The art gallery world gets a decent comedic prod in this new film by writer/director brothers P.J. and Joel Posner. Set amongst the spoiled and the starving in New York, The Next Big Thing pits artistic intelligence against a pleasantly simple love story, all centering around independent favorite Chris Eigeman (The Last Days of Disco).

Eigeman is Gus, who starts out the film having the worst possible day. On his way to an important meeting, battered portfolio in hand, his wallet is swiped by a swindler escaping from subway havoc. The interview goes poorly with gallery owner Arthur Pomposello (an unrecognizable Farley Granger, of beloved Hitchcock fame) because Gus just doesn't "catch you." His shading shows talent and his composition is pleasant to look at, but he doesn't display the normal despondence and stereotypical artistic pain seen in his peers.

The rejection sends him on an even more discouraging course when he returns home to find his apartment broken into. He goes to his girlfriend's only to be thrown out for going nowhere with his life while her friends are having kids and houses in the Hamptons. After one failure and another, Deech (Jamie Harris), the person who stole from him, returns to convince him to paint through a socially accepted alias that doesn't exist, and of course he's going to jump at the chance.

What works for this satire is that though it falls into some predictable patterns that would be better off trimmed, Gus doesn't go through the expected evils of instant success. He is charismatically humble and excited about the sudden appreciation, but we don't see him taking a downward spiral of drugs, or bedding the women that are now showing interest in his work. Because Eigeman makes Gus so natural as a person, it's much more interesting to watch him grow. This also makes the love subplot with Kate (Connie Britton) feel innately possible in even a short amount of time.

But, of course, being a spoof, there are going to be silly, extraneous caricatures you would rather ignore. The most annoying example is the bored, rich housewife who must sleep with every trendy artist, until their five seconds are up. As soon as Damien (cameo by Uma Thurman's brother Dechen) receives a bad review, she's dressed and out the door. That Gus's alter ego is bent on staying out of the spotlight creates her ultimate sexual vision.

The other extra, distracting, scenes such as those dealing with the thug-turned-co-conspirator and inspirational Deech, draw attention away from the central intrigue, instead of complimenting it. Some of this background influence is needed to further Gus along in his decisions, but discussing how his fake stand-in has to die is not worth the time spent on it when there's already been plenty of action dealing with ignorant gallery owners.

For a romantic comedy, The Next Big Thing hits many of the marks it should. You root for Gus in sticking to his Everyman nature, his mutual attraction with Kate is sweetly intelligent, and laughing at the preposterously well-off is easy for the first few minutes. Had some of the garbled middle groundwork for Gus to earn his due been extracted, or more time spent just on Gus, the 87 minutes would have kept the attention tighter.

The DVD includes commentary from P.J. and Joel Posner and Eigeman, as well as the original trailer.



The Next Big Thing

Facts and Figures

Run time: 87 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 8th November 2001

Distributed by: Castle Hill Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 41%
Fresh: 7 Rotten: 10

IMDB: 6.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: P.J. Posner

Producer: P.J. Posner, , ,

Starring: as Gus Bishop, as Deech Scumble, as Kate Crowley, as Shari Lampkin

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review

The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review

An unusually realistic teen movie, this drama gets deep under the skin of its characters,...

Bleed for This Movie Review

Bleed for This Movie Review

This is such a ripping true story that it can't help but grab hold of...

Moana Movie Review

Moana Movie Review

In a clear echo of Frozen, this Disney animated adventure centres on a fiercely independent...

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

The 2003 comedy Bad Santa is a holiday classic that skilfully mixes gross-out humour with...

Allied Movie Review

Allied Movie Review

There's a terrific script at the heart of this World War II thriller, with a...

A United Kingdom Movie Review

A United Kingdom Movie Review

Based on a powerful true story from the late 1940s, this drama is packed with...

Indignation Movie Review

Indignation Movie Review

Philip Roth's layered novels are a challenge for filmmakers (see also 2003's The Human Stain...

Advertisement
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

It's been five years since the last Harry Potter movie, and J.K. Rowling has been...

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Yet another bonkers thriller starring Nicolas Cage, this trashy crime comedy comes from director Paul...

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

"Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall" is a DVD...

Arrival Movie Review

Arrival Movie Review

This sci-fi drama has an enjoyably brain-bending plot that leaves the audience almost stunned with...

Elle Movie Review

Elle Movie Review

There's a boldly comical tone to this outrageous thriller that can't help but unnerve audiences...

100 Streets Movie Review

100 Streets Movie Review

A multi-strand drama set in London, this film is very nicely shot and acted, but...

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

It's been seven years since designer Tom Ford made a splash with his award-winning writing-directing...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.