Shit happens, and almost invariably everyone steps on it. That's the theme to Robert Altman's latest, Ready to Wear. The original title of Pret-a-Porter has been simplified for audiences, and it looks like Altman's film making has also suffered the same. There are a few hilarious moments, but the rest of the movie puts you sleep.
The moral of this story is that the fashion business is empty, overrated, and superficial. Altman's depiction of the fashion world could very well be applied to film making, especially his own. This movie follows the same pattern that Short Cuts did. Unlike Short Cuts, however, this movie has very little epistemological value. Altman has to rely on the sensationalism of nude skinny models to deliver the final blow. Save your money and wait for it to come out on video.
The highlight of the movie is Anne Eisenhower's (Julia Robert) smile when the champagne cork is popped open. The cast includes names like Sophia Loren, Kim Basinger, Tim Robbins, Stephen Rea, Tracy Ullman, Richard Grant, Forest Whitaker, Lyle Lovett, Rupert Everett, and Anouk Aim'ee.
"You Irish bastard! You wouldn't know what to do with your country if we gave it back to you!" ---Nina Scant (Tracy Ullman) in Ready to Wear