Mistress (1992)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Showbiz Comedy  |   Release Date - Aug 7, 1992 (USA)  |   Run Time - 100 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Josh Ralske

An inside look at low-level Hollywood deal making, Mistress was released just a few months after Robert Altman's The Player, and suffered from the comparison. While The Player is slick and jaunty, and features a wealth of A-list cameos, Mistress is more sweaty and desperate, and features cameos by Christopher Walken and Ernest Borgnine. Primus clearly based Mistress partly on his own experiences in the film business, and a lot of the amusing low-budget details (exemplified by Jack Roth's [Martin Landau] amusingly mundane choice of restaurants) and desperate dialogue ring true. Robert Wuhl delivers one of his better performances, for the most part eschewing the mugging that mars a lot of his work. Landau, Jean Smart, and Laurie Metcalf stand out in the strong supporting cast. But the film's overly complicated plot frequently veers into melodrama, which mixes uneasily with its low-key farce. Mistress is a modestly entertaining film that occasionally takes itself too seriously.