film adapted from the play Hospitality Suite
, directed by John Swanbeck
. Roger Rueff
was both the author and screenwriter, so for once questions of the legitimacy of the film adaption can be ignored. Unfortunately, I question why it was adapted for film in the first place. All action occurs in a single room, and the three major characters are essentially the only ones with speaking role
s. Great for the stage
, but somewhat stifling and slow on the screen.
That said, it's a well done movie with some nice performances. Three salesmen are sent to a industrial lubricant convention with the goal of selling an important contract to the big Kahuna, a president of a major company. Larry Mann (Kevin Spacey) is the cynic, Phil Cooper is the (Danny DeVito) is the divorced burn-out and Bob Walker (Peter Facinelli) is the true believer and newbie. As you can imagine, the movie is driven entirely by the interplay between characters, as the two veterans strive for the contract and the newcomer strives to understand his role as a salesman. Kevin Spacey overpowers the other two for the first half, but as the movie becomes deeper and more philosophical the other two actors hold their own. Questions of honesty, purpose and the meaninglessness of life are brought up and dealt with in emotional ways. Not quite the best movie I've seen recently, but those who enjoy quiet movies with a thinking bent might want to check it out as a rental.