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Successful character actor Barry Primus spent seven years trying to get financing for his feature debut as a writer-director, Mistress. In the film, a once-promising writer-director, Marvin Landisman (Robert Wuhl), who now directs instructional videos, is sitting home one night, watching his own print of Jean Renoir's Grand Illusion, when he gets a strange phone call. A producer, Jack Roth (Martin Landau), formerly a bigwig at Universal, tells Marvin he was cleaning out his office when he came across Marvin's old script, "The Darkness and the Light." Jack claims he can get… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 69%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Can't seem to decide if it's supposed to be a comedy about Hollywood small-timers trying to get an indie pic off the ground, or a somber drama in which greed and lust overwhelm art."
‑ David Stratton, Variety
"Seeing Mistress is like getting a bad table at the in Hollywood restaurant. You're eavesdropping on all the dull conversations."
‑ Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"A pitch black dark comedy."
‑ Cole Smithey, ColeSmithey.com
"The energetic cast and the wealth of comic possibilities that are achieved make for an enjoyable romp."
‑ Chris Hicks, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
"The gags are too obvious; the conflict between art and money is hackneyed; and the plot goes badly off the rails in the later reels."
‑ Derek Adams, Time Out
"The movie has been described as a low-rent version of Robert Altman's "The Player," but it would be more accurate to say it's about low-rent players."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Deft Hollywood satire with a top-drawer cast."
‑ Rob Thomas, Capital Times (Madison, WI)
"The performances are all strong (particularly Landau's) but, as a whole, the movie suffers from competing impulses that push and pull Mistress from comedy to drama and back again."
‑ Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle
""Mistress" abounds with sharp comic performances that never stray into caricature or sentimentality."
‑ Stephen Holden, New York Times
"Although it's never worse than watchable, the story barely expands beyond its own boundaries. It starts off appealingly small -- the way the old Albert Brooks movies used to. But it stays small."
‑ Desson Thomson, Washington Post
"One of De Niro's less essential outings."
‑ , Film4
More reviews for Mistress on Rotten Tomatoes