Miami Rhapsody

Writer David Franker makes a barely decent directorial debut in Miami Rhapsody, a romantic comedy, set and filmed on location. “I wanted to do a comedy from a woman’s perspective, as much as a man could imagine it,” Frankel says, “one that deals with contemporary relationships in a way few recent films have.” It’s a revisionist film for Frankel, based on his belief that, “women have as many doubts about marriage as men have, and that men embrace the fantasy of monogamy as much, if not more, than most women.”

In this warm-hearted comedy, Sarah Jessica Parker plays Gwyn, a young advertising copywriter who faces the biggest challenge of her life when she accepts the marriage proposal of her boyfriend Matt. Gwyn wants to have a marriage like that of her parents (Mia Farrow and Paul Mazursky), but shortly after she and Matt become engaged, she discovers that each and every member of her family is having an extra-marital affair.

Not surprisingly, the young director chose as his model Woody Allen. To create an ensemble piece reminiscent of such Allen classic comedies as Manhattan and especially Hannah and Her Sisters, he assembled a top-notch cast. “The whole film, down to the smallest roles, is dotted with actors who bring a richness to what they do.

Gravity is brought to the film by Paul Mazursky, who himself made some good comedy-dramas (“An Unmarried Woman”). Of course, watching Mia Farrow playing an adulterous wife, brings to mind the ten or so films she had made during her relationship with Woody Allen (The much-publicized break-up and mutual accusations with Allen two years ago).

Cast members are just as effusive in their praise for their first-time director. “Everyone had great confidence in David,” says Farrow, “I expected it would be fun working on this project, but it transcended the usual professional experience in that we all formed genuine relationships.

Says Farrow: “Everyone had sincerely good feelings for one another.” The movie certainly shows it. Antonio Banderas, the Spanish heartthrob who’s quickly becoming popular in American movies (he played Tom Hanks’ lover in Philadelphia) says: “It’s very important to have someone as open-minded and sensitive as David, because when you’re doing comedy it’s easy to go over the top. David was always there with an objectivity to help us. As an actor, you can ask for nothing better.”