An oafish light comedy that stumbles when it should soar, Town & Country stars Warren Beatty as a wealthy, successful architect and devoted husband who begins to question his commitment to fidelity after best friend Garry Shandling cheats on his wife, Goldie Hawn. Eager to make up for lost time, Beatty dallies not only with cellist Nastassja Kinski, but also with Hawn, nearly destroying his relationship with wife Diane Keaton in the process. From there, the film takes an unnecessary detour into the mountains, where Beatty travels with Shandling and ends up in semi-compromising positions with daffy heiress Andie MacDowell and quirky clerk Jenna Elfman. Town & Country feels like several different movies haphazardly rolled into one, none of them coherent or inspired. It begins like a defiantly upper-class, Woody Allen-style multi-character comedy-drama, complete with accomplished but angst-ridden WASPs living in Martha Stewart-esque splendor, gags revolving around Beatty's attempts to deal with the foreigner-filled modern world, and plenty of brittle, cut-rate Allenisms. Once Beatty begins cheating on his wife, the film suddenly turns into a busy, cluttered farce, full of frenetic flailing and a seemingly endless series of comic misunderstandings. But Town & Country doesn't plummet off the deep end until Shandling and Beatty head for the country, at which point it makes another disastrous change in direction, this time morphing into a crass, Farrelly Brothers-style lowbrow comedy. A scene in which MacDowell, Beatty, and Charlton Heston (as MacDowell's insane father) are berated by Heston's sex-crazed, wheelchair-bound wife marks a low point in the Farrelly Brothers' influence on contemporary comedy, and the film never recovers. In keeping with all the facile Allen worship, the women in Town & Country are all quirky, neurotic tramps eager to hop into bed with the never-less-appealing Beatty, with the exception of Keaton, in full Annie Hall mode as the film's ideal (that is, non-sexual) mate. Late in the film, the women in Beatty's life convene in one cramped bathroom. The filmmakers may have intended that sequence as a celebration of all that's come before, but it's a positively hellish reunion, populated by loathsome caricatures behaving in ways seldom recognizable as human.

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