Hidden Gem – State and Main

by Alan Rapp on January 26, 2017

in Home Video

  • Title: State and Main
  • IMDb: link

State and Main DVD reviewIt’s about purity. We’ll double-down on Throwback Thursday this week to take a quick look at David Mamet‘s underrated 2000 comedy State and Main in which a movie set is forced to relocate to the sleepy town of Waterford, Vermont when their star’s (Alec Baldwin) love of underage girls gets them thrown out of New Hampshire. Immensely entertaining and highly quotable, this one never fails to make me laugh.

Go you Huskies. Featuring an amazing cast, Mamet gives us Philip Seymour Hoffman as the playwright turned screenwriter, William H. Macy as the film’s director, Baldwin and Sarah Jessica Parker as the film’s stars, and Rebecca Pidgeon, Clark Gregg, and Julia Stiles as townies. All turn out to be perfect fits for Mamet’s quick dialogue that takes equal swipes at Hollywood and small town life but still finds ways to celebrate each.

Everybody needs a hobby. The conflict in the film comes from the dysfunction of the set, the uproar the movie folks have on the town (in both positive and negative ways), and their star’s latest dalliance which puts the entire project in jeopardy.

It’s not a lie. It’s a gift for fiction. Along the way we’ll also get to see an unorthodox love story bloom between Hoffman and Pidgeon, Gregg be a complete bastard, various disasters on the eve of filming, ethical dilemmas, and oh so much more. I defy you not to love the hell out of State and Main. I even like Sarah Jessica Parker in this movie (which is a minor miracle in and of itself).

I know my lines. I just don’t know what order they come in. Mamet has a knack for comedy and it’s sad he doesn’t do more satires because (other than some questionable small roles of local townspeople) the film is nearly flawless. The movie is available on DVD but has never been released on Blu-ray. Extras include somewhat disconnected commentary from the cast (spliced together from separate audio), and some downloadable content. If you’ve never seen it, hunt down a copy of State and Main. And if you have, give it another look. You’ll be glad you did.

[New Line Home Video, $14.99]

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