Naked in New York
Eric Stoltz, Mary-Louise Parker, Ralph Macchio
Directed by Daniel Algrant
In this uneven but likably unslick romantic comedy – a feature debut for director and co-writer Dan Algrant – Kathleen Turner really heats up her small role as Dana Coles, a sexy pot-head from TV soaps with a yen to get back onstage. "Are you a boy or a man?" she asks young playwright Jake Briggs (Eric Stoltz). "Don't worry," she says, seeing his confusion, "I'mpartial to both."
Jake, however, is partial to Joanne (Mary-Louise Parker), the photographer he met in college and lives with in Cambridge, Mass. While Jake's in New York getting his play produced and fending off advances from Dana and Chris (a surprisingly intriguing Ralph Macchio), Joanne is back home being seduced by her boss, Elliot (Timothy Dalton).
Naked, which includes coyly whimsical interludes of Jake chatting to himself and visions from his past, feels like several small films in one. It's not surprising, since Algrant, a former student of Martin Scorsese (Naked' s executive producer), is an award-winning maker of small films. The grittily comic section about the theater works well, as does any scene with the beguiling Parker. Though Algrant shows promise, the rest is a mess.