Sudden Manhattan | Chicago Reader

Sudden Manhattan

Actress Adrienne Shelly (The Unbelievable Truth, Trust) directs herself in a darkish 1996 comedy she wrote about a recently fired woman who starts witnessing murders no one else seems to care about. Donna is kept by her writing teacher (Roger Rees), who's obsessed with her, used by a nutty friend, and frustrated by attempts at sex with an actor she meets, and this menagerie of characters allows Shelly to riff on several stereotypes of artists and New Yorkers, though the shtick is pretty vacuous. With some subtle shadings of tone Shelly conveys a cute insight or two and stimulates a few muted laughs, but only her idiosyncratic presence in what could have been a crudely self-indulgent role keeps things even vaguely charming.

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