My introduction to Paul Dano was the 2006 film “Little Miss Sunshine.” With his underplayed characters and his slow delivery, he sticks out. Peg and I loved him in “Swiss Army Man” with Daniel Radcliffe, virtually a two-person film. He has been in numerous movies since 2000 including “Love & Mercy” where he played Brian Wilson of The Beachboys. Look for him in 2022. He will play The Riddler in the next Batman film.
In “The Extra Man” Dana plays Louis Ives, a young man who aspires to be a writer. He’s been fired as a school teacher (caught wearing a bra) and seeks a job in New York City for a magazine, but he’s hired for phone sales. He rents a bed from impoverished escort Kevin Kline, who never advanced after writing his first play. He lives off guile and the good graces of rich old women . . . hoping to marry or end up in their wills. An extra man means a lady can always have an escort for dinner, the theatre, the opera, or a society event.
Kevin Kline is like Dano, in that when you see the name connected to a film, you know it’s going to be quirky. Kline plays the extra man as Henry Harrison.
The love interest or lust interest, perhaps, was played by Katie Holmes as Mary Powell. I’m still not sure if Louis wants to date Mary for sex or just for her clothes.
The cast was great with veterans Dan Hedaya, John Pankow, and John C. Reilly as Gershon Gruen. I’m not quite sure if Reilly actually spoke, or if his soprano lines were dubbed in.
The film was written and directed by the married team of Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini. The third writer is Jonathan Ames, who wrote the novel the movie is based on.
“Louis, a young teacher enamored of the age of F. Scott Fitzgerald, who loses his job when he’s caught trying on a bra he finds in a campus office. He decides to go to New York City to find himself and to be a writer. He answers an ad for a housemate placed by the eccentric and opinionated Henry Harrison; an odd-couple relationship starts. Louis gets a job selling advertising for a green magazine and fancies Mary, a co-worker. He meets Henry’s neighbor, the hirsute Gershon, and Henry offers Paul schooling in the gentleman’s world of being an “extra man” – a hired companion, a gigolo – for older women. Can Louis sort out these varied worlds as well as his own expectations?”
Although sex and perversion is kind of an on-going theme, we don’t really actually see any. I found the film on Prime. It was enjoyable and held my attention all the way through even though I watched it in-between video editing for a client.Other Review:Quirky, Funny, Different, Interesting21 November 2010 | by avafradkin –An interesting movie, full of off-beat laughs and phenomenal acting by Kevin Kline and Paul Dano and John C. Reilly. Intellectually stimulating, fun, and most importantly, different than the average movie. Paul Dano is brilliantly cast as a young writer who has some confusion about his sexuality and also feels he is meant to be in another era. Kevin Kline is hilarious as an off-beat character whose political and social views are quite out of the ordinary. The movie allows the audience to ponder, while not being overly ambiguous. The scene at the beach when John C. Reilly sings and Kevin Kline teaches Paul Dano to dance, is a keeper for my memory bank. “Get me off this Godforsaken beach. I need alcohol and civilization”.
For additional information about the film, please visit – imdb.com/title/tt1361313/