Eye For Film >> Movies >> People I Know (2002) Film Review
Al Pacino is former hot shot publicist Eli Wurman, a Southern-born one time mover-and-shaker, who is at the end of his rope - and his career. He is attempting to run one last major benefit and attract as many "star" turns as possible, encouraging political leaders to come, with the promise of Hollywood razzmatazz.
His last major client, Cary Launer (Ryan O'Neal), is an Oscar-winning actor, who has Wurman sort out his messes for him; in this case, he has to get drug-addled television host Jilli Hopper (Tea Leoni) out of jail and back to California. But a detour leads Wurman into a secret opium-and-sex den, filled with the rich and powerful, and ultimately involves him in murder.
People I Know tears apart New York's PR/marketing world. The eclectic cast does a fine job, with Pacino and Leoni standing out. Kim Basinger has a supporting role as Wurman's former sister-in-law who offers him the chance of romance - his brother committed suicide three years earlier and they have always had a mutual affection beyond friendship - and a quiet life on a ranch. First, he has to pull off this politically controversial fundraiser that is upsetting a lot of people. He does so in style, but not before he has upset all the wrong people!
The film deserves five stars for Pacino's performance alone, but relies too heavily upon him. The others - Basinger being a prime example - are only there because their roles are plot devices, which is glaringly obvious after a while.
This is not a fatal flaw; it is a wounding. Although the bruises are noticeable.Reviewed on: 15 Jun 2004