Entertainment Weekly

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content
Oscars 2017
Everything you need to knowDon't Miss It

Article

The Business of Strangers

Posted on

Stockard Channing, The Business of Strangers
The Business of Strangers: JoJo Whilden

The Business of Strangers

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
R
runtime:
84 minutes
Limited Release Date:
12/07/01
Wide Release Date:
01/11/02
performer:
Stockard Channing, Julia Stiles, Marcus Giamatti, Frederick Weller
director:
Patrick Stettner
author:
74720
genre:
Mystery and Thriller, Drama

We gave it a B-

Any similarities between the testosteronic smackdowns of ”In the Company of Men” and the estrogenic mind games played out in an airport lounge between a Ms. magazine-era, middle-aged executive (Stockard Channing) and her Jane magazine-era young assistant (Julia Stiles) in The Business of Strangers are fully intended. Taken together, the two could form the core curriculum of a crash course in bad behavior in the age of corporate sterility.

But the life’s-unfair fact is that ”Men” got there first and shocked better with its guerrilla anti-PC pugnacity. ”Strangers,” a feature debut by writer-director Patrick Stettner, is more diagrammatic and less organic in its show-offy dismantling of the first-generation-feminist notion that Sisterhood Is Powerful; sisterhood, it turns out, is skin-deep, with the smooth retaining an edge over the wrinkled. None of this detracts, however, from the terrific piss-and-merlot performances of Channing and Stiles, or from the committed participation of Frederick Weller as a Neil LaBute-era businessman caught in the lounge between two she-devils disguised as businesswomen.

Comments