COMEDY HEARTBREAKERS (15) 123 mins 00..

Max and Page Conners - played by Sigourney Weaver and Jennifer Love Hewitt are a mother-and- daughter team of con artists. They may be a generation apart, but the scam they have perfected depends equally on both women’s sex appeal. Max reels in a wealthy sucker and gets him to pop the question. Soon after the wedding, the groom is caught in a compromising position with Page - and a lucrative annulment follows. Having fleeced Bay Liotta’s New Jersey chop-shop owner in this manner, the pair head for Palm Beach, Florida, where they target tobacco billionaire William B Tensy (Gene Hackman). But Page, to her

mother’s disquiet, has ambitions to Kathrine Hepburn if ever there was one. (The scene in which Weaver sings a heavily accented version of Reunion and a long-time executive The Beatles’ ‘Back In The USSR’ while pretending to be Russian is priceless.) Hewitt, flagrantly alluring most farcical scenes far enough. in a series of over-the-top push-up But his cast are quite obviously

strike out on her own and sets her sights on amiable local bar owner Jack (Jason Lee).

Like its protagonists, Heartbreakers is both cheerfully amoral and charming, cynical and

sweet. The statuesque Weaver has bras, is a worthy foil. So too are Lee’s sweet-natured bartender, Liotta’s lust-driven patsy, and Hackman’s wheezing, dyspeptic,

shown her talent for comedy in such films as Working Girl and Galaxy Quest. Heartbreakers sees

Dellghtfully Infectlous con-women caper comedy

her at the top of her form, an heir to heroically chain-smoking Tensy.

Director David Merkin (maker of Romy And Michele ’3 High School

producer of The Simpsons) doesn’t push some of the film’s darkest and

having a ball. And on this occasion, the actors’ enthusiasm is delightfully infectious. (Jason Best) I General release from Fri 24 Aug.


Tin W3. 1'0"" -

Lively and Ilberatlng cult rock musical

Star of the cult rock musical John Cameron Mitchel! gives it his all once more. directing, writing and starring in the film version of the play. Mitchell takes the opportunity to open up his and Stephen Trask's play. using more and varied locations and expanding the timeframe with flashbacks.

In order to escape communist East Germany, young Hansel marries a gay G.|.. which involves undergoing a sex change operation. This is botched leaving Hansel. now Hedwig, with just an ‘angry inch“. Jump forward a few years and Hedwig is t0uring middle-America with her punk rock band named after her phallic stump. She's also stalking former lover and musical protege Tommy Gnosis, who's Stoler‘ Hedwig's songs and hit the big time.

What this tale allows Mitchell to do is advance a groovy Platonic theory about the origin of love we all used to be one person see. until we split in two. The film is as lively and liberating as The Rocky Horror Picture Show. though less camp and much funnier, and features an ass-kicking Q'am Dunk scundtrack that's up there with Bowie and Iggy. And it's got the funniest ioke you'll ever see about a young gay boy and a German gas oven. (Miles Fielder)

I General release from Fri 37 Aug.


Oh my God. a teen movie that's not. like. totally terrible. A teen mowe that's. like. really cool. Now I may die happy. In fact. you're sold from the opening seguence in which every music lover's fantasy about what should be done to one of those hideous. manufactured boy bands in this case 'Dujour‘ is realised. With explosive special effects.

Enter Josie (smart/cute Rachael Leigh Cook on vocals and guitar) and her punk band The Pussycats (Rosario Dawson's tough/cute Val on bass. Tara Reid‘s dumb/cute Melody on drums). They're 'discovered' by slimey MegaRecords manager Wyatt Frame (Alan Cumming), promptly delivered to CEO with 'issues' Fiona (the always fabulous Parker Posey) and re-packaged as the next big pop sensation. But the presence of government grey suits suggests there's more to MegaFiecords' than the kind of obvious media manipulation we've come to expect from the backers of Hear'say.

This film. based on the 603 Archie comic and 70s Hanna- Barbera cartoon, has its cake and eats it. American big business is the villain of the piece and us innocent consumers the victims, but when you pay your ticket money to see Josie And The Pussycats your cash is going straight into fat cat's pockets. Still. it's money well-spent: the performances are a joy and the satirical script by co- directors Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont is kittycat-claw sharp. (Miles Fielder)

I General release from Fri 24 Aug.


Sharp teen satlre



(cert tbc) 80 mins 0...

It's a common device in Hollywood cinema to have a minor crisis shadowed by mOre significant events: a divorce in Twister. a fatheridaughter/boyfriend tiff in Armageddon. lranian Cinema has its own rather less hyperbolic and mOre realistic approach to tackling the personal and the general. In Bahman Ghobadi's film. as in Samira Makhmalbaf's Blackboards. border crossing out of finance! necessny (looking for pupils in Blackboards: smuggling goods here) carries risks beyond rough terrain and weather so appalling even the horses in Ghobadi's film have to take a drop of Spirits. There are also mines from the Iran/Irao war to worry about as twelve-year-old Ayoub determines to earn enough money to pay for his handicapped brother's operation.

Ghobadi may have said of his film that 'the screenplay is completely constructed and structured'. but Clearly we're talking of a construction closer to dOCUment than contrivahce. When witnessing the characters fighting their way through the freeZing cold elements and fearing a momentary explosion we're st=il inclined to think of the specifics of the weather conditions. and the realities of the region's wars. rather than the meretriCious .ngenuzty of a (Western, filmmaker caJOIing us ir‘to retaining a more self-conSCious. irOnic interest. (Tony McKibbin)

I GFT. Glasgow from Fri 24 Aug; Fi/mhouse. Edinburgh from Fri 37 Aug.

Less hyperbole, more realism

23 Aug-6 Seo ZCC’ THE LIST 15