Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Six Degrees of Separation

An eloquent, impoverished, black homosexual street hustler (Will Smith), claiming to be the son of Sidney Poitier, insinuates himself into the lives of a snobbish Upper Eastside couple (Donald Sutherland and Stockard Channing) who are at first charmed, then repelled when his ruse is made apparent, and again delighted to have the experience as an anecdote for social gatherings. John Guare’s adaptation of his own class comedy stageplay takes an irritating comic tone which shifts into more serious fare and gives the film weight. Fred Schepisi overdirects in the hopes of opening the material up for the screen, although the film does featuring some outstanding exterior visuals of the city. Sutherland and Channing (an Oscar nominee) are irritating and off-putting, probably by design, and Smith is surprisingly quite good in this odd early career acting choice.
** 1/2 out of ****