A sexy and smart 1994 comedy on La-La-Land shams and scam.

The New Age (1994/2016)

Cast: Judy Davis, Peter Weller, Patrick Bauchau, Adam West Director: Michael Tolkin (The Player)
Studio:  New Regency Enterprises/20th Century Fox [2/23/16]
Video: for 16:9 screens, color
Audio: English, PCM stereo
No region coding
No previews
Length: 112 min.
Rating: ****

Considered one of the sharpest dark comedies about life in LA, it makes some other attempts at the same idea seem a bit lame, but the later American Beauty is a winner. Nice to have this one on a decent DVD for the first time. It’s immediately obvious this is an older film because the portable phones are huge.

The two leading actors play the Witners perfectly. The yuppie couple in the expensive LA home with pool, take part in a great satire on consumerist culture. It includes sexual relations with others, alternative medicine, Death By Dignity before it became an Oregon law, misapplied Buddhist, Hindu and pagan philosophy, yoga, drum circles, and even BDSM.

It opens with Judy yelling at her husband because he has just quit his high-paying job without telling her. She says “Money isn’t money! Money is an expression of something else!” Someone asks them what they most like to do, and they answer “shopping!” They make a sudden and ill-fated attempt to open an expensive fashion boutique, whose failure and the failure of their lives lead them to consideration of mutual suicide. Adam (Batman) West is great as Weller’s father, playing an aging Lothario. This film was ahead of its time.

—John Sunier