EW Staff
October 09, 1998 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Impostors

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
performer
Oliver Platt, Stanley Tucci, Steve Buscemi, Hope Davis, Alfred Molina, Lili Taylor
director
Stanley Tucci
genre
Comedy

We gave it a C

It’s understandable that most of the cast and production team from the delectable comedy “Big Night” wanted to hang around long after the sun had come up and the last breakfast omelette had been served; they were having far too good a time to break up the party. Still, their pleasure in each other’s exaggerated play-acting can take a period farce only so far. “The Impostors,” written and directed by “Big Night”‘s Stanley Tucci and featuring many of the old gang (including Tony Shalhoub, Campbell Scott, and Isabella Rossellini), comes across as a diversion that was heaps more fun to make than it is to watch.

Tucci and the ever-hardy Oliver Platt star as out-of-work Depression-era actors who wind up on a cruise liner and cause serial wackiness to ensue. The ship of fools includes a pompous thespian (Alfred Molina), a lugubrious lounge singer (Steve Buscemi), a cartoon-Nazi head steward (Scott), a neurasthenic heiress (Hope Davis), and a plucky head stewardess (Lili Taylor). In other words, the cast is first-rate. (Even Woody Allen shows up, uncredited, as a producer with marital troubles.) But this would have worked better as a “Big Night” cast-party skit.

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