Pacino To Have Hot Old Man Sex with Former Lesbian

12/15/2009 12:05 PM |

Help, I Cant Act Anymore!
  • Help, I Can’t Act Anymore!

Al Pacino will not only star in an upcoming film adaptation of Philip Roth’s new novel The Humbling: he has also personally bought the rights, a first for the veteran actor. Arts Beat reported yesterday that Barry Levinson will direct and Buck Henry is writing the script. In other words, a bunch of washed-up artists are conspiring to make a movie about an old man’s hot sexual adventures with a reformed lesbian.

Reviewing in The L, Michael Joshua Rowin summed up the book excellently: “While the first third…exactingly traces the debilitating frustration of an artistic cul-de-sac, the sexual obsession and dependency of the remaining ‘counterplot’ is less convincing.” Which is to say (as I have read the book too—it’s short!), the opening descriptions of artistic frustration are beautifully crafted; the following sections, with their absurd sex scenes (oh yes, there is a dildo)…less so.

Roth isn’t exactly washed up; The Humbling may prove an isolated disappointment in what has otherwise been an exciting late-career. His previous novel, Indignation, was a perfectly plotted examination of Eisenhower-era angst. And there’s that old maxim that bad books make good movies, and vice versa.

But the rest of the talent involved isn’t encouraging. Barry Levinson has made almost 30 movies in his career, and he’s lucky if five of them merit being “of interest”. (Lately he’s been making by-all-accounts awful political movies, like Poliwood and, groan, Man of the Year.) Buck Henry is a bit more promising, as he’s the scribe behind The Graduate and To Die For. He’s better known for the Get Smart series. He hasn’t written a produced screenplay in nearly a decade.

And then there’s Pacino. I hardly know what to say at this point, except that the latest Pacino news—he’ll be playing Shylock this summer at the Delacorte—made me roll my eyes. You never see Robert DeNiro doing Shakespeare because the man knows his limitations. Would that Pacino would learn the same.

One Comment

  • Your eyes roll and they do not see as a result.Pacino has made a lot of bad movies in the last ten years, but he is a brilliant actor when he has a quality script and a director not afraid to coax a suitable performance from him. Pacino was very good as Roy Cohn in the HBO/Mike Nichols adaptation of Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America”. As for never catching DeNiro on stage doing Shakespeare, damn straight, the man is a method actor who is only interesting on screen, not the stage. His style is brooding, intense, condensed. Pacino’s portrayal of Shylock in Michael Radford’s screen version of “Merchant of Venice” was very fine. Inspired casting, inspired writing, inspired performance, a good fit.