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Miami Rhapsody (1995, Sarah Jessica Parker, Antonio Banderas)

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Sarah Jessica Parker plays Gwyn, a copywriter whose extended family gradually reveals itself to be awash with adultery and self-delusion. Her father (Paul Mazursky) and mother (Mia Farrow) are both playing away, he with a travel agent (Kelly Bishop), she with her own mother’s Cuban nurse (Antonio Banderas). Her brother (Kevin Pollak) is playing around with his partner’s model wife (Naomi Campbell) and her newly-married sister (Carla Gugino) has a farewell fling with an ex. The torrent of infidelity leads Gwyn to put her own wedding to Gil Bellows on hold. All is eventually put back together again, except for Gwyn herself.

Nobody ever misses the debt this snappy and attractive comedy owes to the movies of Woody Allen. What holds it together is writer-director David Frankel’s knowing take on his native Florida and the funny and feisty central performance of Sarah Jessica Parker whose continuing failure to graduate to full stardom is an enduring mystery.

The rest of the cast is a curious collection. Writer-director and sometime actor Paul Mazursky is perhaps no less an unlikely mate for Mia Farrow than any of her real-life husbands but he seems too LA for Miami just as she seems too New York. The smouldering Antonio Banderas is used in rather the same way that Pedro Almodóvar manipulated him back in the old country, as an endearingly sweet himbo. Naomi Campbell is not quite iconic enough to excuse her deplorable inability to put over a line. And Gil Bellows is now of course much better known as the long-term swoon object of poor benighted Ally McBeal.

production details
USA | 95 minutes | 1995

Writer and Director: David Frankel

cast
Sarah Jessica Parker as Gwyn Marcus
Antonio Banderas as Antonio
Mia Farrow as Nina Marcus
Gil Bellows as Matt
Kevin Pollak as Jordan Marcus
Carla Gugino as Leslie Marcus