Hollywood Reporter - 01/21/2003
"...PEOPLE I KNOW ranks with SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS in its ruthless portrayal of the publicity business..."
Al Pacino transforms himself into former all-star publicist Eli Wurman in Dan Algrant's PEOPLE I KNOW. Wurman is a southern-born onetime mover and shaker who is at the end of his rope--and his career. His last major client, Cary Launer (Ryan O'Neal), is an Oscar-winning actor who has Wurman clean up his messes for him; in this case, Wurman has to get drug-addled television host Jilli Hopper (Tea Leoni) out of jail and back to California. But a detour leads Wurman into a secret sex-and-drug den filled with the rich and powerful--and also gets him involved in murder.
PEOPLE I KNOW shares its fast-paced, winner-take-all, back stabbing world with SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS, which also tore apart New York City's hot publicity world. The eclectic cast does a fine job, with Pacino and Leoni standing out. Kim Basinger has a supporting role as Victoria Gray, Wurman's former sister-in-law who offers him the chance to retire to a quiet life on a ranch, but Wurman first has to pull off a politically controversial fundraiser that is making a lot of people upset.
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