"Everybody makes their own fun. If you don't make it yourself, it's entertainment."
- Ann Black (Rebecca Pidgeon) to Joseph Turner White (Philip Seymour Hoffman)
USA Today - 12/18/2000
"...Philip Seymour Hoffman [is] flawless casting for David Mamet..." -- 3 out of 4 stars
Premiere - 01/01/2001
"...Witty comedy....[Comparable] to the films of Preston Sturges..."
Sight and Sound - 02/01/2001
"...Mamet's plots are tightly coiled affairs..."
Entertainment Weekly - 01/19/2001
"...[A] delectably caustic comedy....Macy creates something ticklish and paradoxical: a hero of dishonor..."
Total Film - 03/01/2001
"...There's some fine comic playing from the likes of William H. Macy, Sarah Jessica Parker and Alec Baldwin, while Hoffman invests his romantic leading role with a touching dignity..."
Los Angeles Times - 12/22/2000
"...STATE AND MAIN is a quintessentially wised-up insider comedy, ideally cast and filled with sharp writing from start to finish..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 12/22/2000
"...David Mamet has a playful side that's sometimes overlooked....He delights in using dialogue to provide quick sideways insights into his characters, and in STATE AND MAIN he's directed his first pure comedy..."
Uncut - 02/01/2005
"A merrier Mamet..."
In the screwball comedy STATE AND MAIN, writer-director David Mamet reveals that the only thing more corrupt than Hollywood moviemaking is a small American town that is willing to stoop to any level to be a part of it. Marshalling an all-star ensemble, Mamet chronicles a movie production's arrival in sleepy Waterford, Vermont. Walt Price (William H. Macy), the smooth-talking, Machiavellian chief of the effort, has four days before shooting begins--he has to scout locations (the old mill he expected to use as a set burned down forty years ago), keep his egotistical stars out of trouble, and charm the locals. The writer, Joe White (Philip Seymour Hoffman), wrestles with endless script changes and finds himself getting involved with a charming Waterford bookshop owner (Rebecca Pidgeon). The townspeople only condemn the slick tinseltown interlopers when they're not currying their favor, hoping for a shot at the big time. Mamet lets each successive crisis among these folks build to hilarious chaos; healthy doses of one-liners and clever plotting are balanced with a character-driven comic tale. Mamet's dialogue, known for its rapid-fire, repetitious wit, is perfectly matched to both Macy's fast-talking damage control and Pidgeon's homespun wisdom--the result is light-hearted comedy that feels legitimately profound.
Film About Film |
Teenage Girls |
Theatrical release: December 22, 2000
The film was shot on location in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts.
Writer-director David Mamet often uses the same actors and crew, including William H. Macy, with whom he first collaborated 35 years before STATE AND MAIN, and Rebecca Pidgeon, Mamet's wife.
There are a few surprises for those who stick around through the closing credits. One of the closing credits claims that "Only 2 animals were harmed during the making of this film"; later it claims, of course, that no animals were in fact harmed.
"Song of the Old Mill," which plays over the credits, is sung by Patti LuPone, who plays the mayor's wife; the lyrics are by Mamet. Patti Lupone sings "Song of the Old Mill" on the soundtrack.
Mayor George Bailey (Charles Durning) has the same name as the hero of Frank Capra's small-town classic IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE.
The web domain Bazoomer.com, which figures in the film, is owned by Mamet. At one point in the film the producer, Marty Rossen (David Paymer), yells into the phone at his lawyer that he'll make sure that Claire (Sarah Jessica Parker) can't even get a job in Squigglevision; the lawyer is played by Jonathan Katz, whose Comedy Central cartoon show DR. KATZ was the first regular television show to be filmed in Squigglevision.
The plotline regarding Claire's debate over whether to take her clothes off is an in-joke, as Sarah Jessica Parker is well known for being the only one of the four major female characters on SEX AND THE CITY who will not take her top off; she supposedly has it written into her contract.
The name of the film within a film is THE OLD MILL.
The name of Joe Turner White's play is ANGUISH.
Rebecca Pidgeon, who plays Ann Black, is married to writer-director David Mamet. She told Time Out New York, "I adore working with him. I just marvel at his smartness."
Although the film skewers Hollywood, Mamet told the New York Daily News, "I love the movie business. Sometimes it frustrates and enrages me, but it also exhilarates me."
Peter Travers of Rolling Stone, Jack Matthews of the New York Daily News, Jeff Strickler of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, and Desson Howe of the Washington Post named the film one of the year's 10 best.
The Online Film Critics Society awarded the cast of STATE AND MAIN (in a tie with that of ALMOST FAMOUS) Best Ensemble; the National Board of Review and the Florida Critics Circle also named the cast of STATE AND MAIN Best Ensemble.
David Mamet won Best Screenplay for STATE AND MAIN from the Florida Critics Circle.