.

The Producers

Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Uma Thurman, Will Farrell, Roger Bart

Directed by Susan Stroman
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 2
Community: star rating
5 2 0
December 15, 2005

Did you ever buy tickets to a big stage musical and find that your seats were in the front row, where all you could see were the seams showing and the actors straining to project? That's the feeling I had watching first-time film director Susan Stroman try to transfer the magic she brought to The Producers (still running on Broadway) from stage to screen. Not happening. Nathan Lane repeats his Tony-winning role as Max Bialystock, a producer who raises money for his shows by sleeping with old ladies. And Matthew Broderick is back as Leo Bloom, the timid accountant who tells Max he can make a fortune by producing a guaranteed flop. But their comic spontaneity has evaporated. When they buy Springtime for Hitler from a Nazi playwright (Will Ferrell, way overdoing it) and hire a cross-dresser (Gary Beach, still a howl) to direct, the flop seems in the bag. You can't kill all the laughs, not from a script by Mel Brooks, but Stroman sells Brooks' songs with the subtlety of cannon fire. Only Uma Thurman, who plays Ulla, the sexy Swedish secretary, seems to know her way around a camera. She's a one-woman fireworks display singing "When You Got It, Flaunt It." What Stroman got, she flattens. She should have studied the original Producers that Brooks directed in 1968, with Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder. It answers the question "Where did they go right?"

prev
Movie Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Promiscuous”

    Nelly Furtado with Timbaland | 2006

    This club-oriented single featuring Timbaland, who produced Nelly Furtado's third album, Loose, was Furtado’s sexy return after the Canadian singer's exploration of her Portuguese heritage on Folklore. "In the studio, initially I didn’t know if I could do it, 'cause Timbaland wrote that chorus," Furtado said. "I'm like, 'That's cool, but I don't know if I'm ready to do full-out club.'" The flirty lyrics are a dance between a guy and girl, each knowing they will end up in bed together but still playing the game. "Tim and I called it 'The BlackBerry Song,' she said, "because everything we say in the song you could text-message to somebody."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com