The New Age

The New Age (1994)

Genres - Drama, Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Black Comedy, Marriage Drama  |   Release Date - Sep 16, 1994 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 106 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Michael Hastings

A caustic, obtuse time capsule of pre-millennial angst, the barely-seen The New Age may not have cemented popular screenwriter Michael Tolkin's reputation as a full-fledged auteur. Still, the film remains an interesting if not completely successful attempt to capture -- and satirize -- the loneliness of the haute bourgeoisie. Judy Davis and Peter Weller are spot-on in their portrayals of glossy, empty L.A. post-boomers who look to sex, salesmanship, and bunk spirituality for a vague semblance of soul. It's the kind of role Davis has relished in numerous movies, and she turns in an appropriately oblivious variation on her usual modern neurotic; by comparison, Weller seems a bit muted, but his cipher-like countenance fits well with the film, particularly in its latter act. Where another director might have played the material for farce (à la the detestable Scenes From a Mall), Tolkin smartly plays the scenes with a cautious ennui; though he doesn't sympathize with his arrogant anti-heroes, he also doesn't make them larger-than-life exaggerations. In fact, The New Age's greatest failing may be that the objects of its scorn might not even realize they're being mocked.