Nobody's Ideal Woman
Review by Ross Anthony

These days, De Niro seems to be seeking out scripts with challenging twists to his tough guy persona. "Analyze This" (earlier in the year) portrayed him as a Mafia boss, who in search of meaning to his criminal life, enlists the reluctant help of the comical psychologist Billy Crystal. In "Flawless," De Niro plays retired hero cop Walt Koontz: strong, suave, and staunchly homophobic. Walt soon suffers a stroke, prompting him ever-so-reluctantly to take singing lessons (therapy) from his cross-dressing neighbor down the hall. The relationship between these two (ahem) men, is the nugget of gold that gives "Flawless" its appeal.

But there's plenty of less glittering film around this golden center. A "Starsky and Hutch"-like drug/money drama weaves in and out lasting for weeks and months without resolution -- until the end. Surprisingly, this, essentially warm buddy film, wraps up with an action sequence. Farcical, out of place, but not terribly destructive, the climax plays more off the good humor of the writer/director than the vicious potential of the bad guys.

Though quiet brashly amusing, the drag-queen entourage overdoes the costume parade at times. It's a rough, yet playful film with endearing moments, where both hetero's and gays are cherished and ribbed.

  • Flawless. Copyright © 1999. Rated R.
  • Starring Robert De Niro, Philip Symour Hoffman.
  • Written and Directed by Joel Schumacher.
  • Produced by Joel Schumacher and Jane Rosenthal at MGM/Tribeca.


Copyright © 1999. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:10:59 PDT