The Extra Man

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It's less about looks than about acting. I know people who object to watching Paul Giamatti in a lead because of his looks, but Giamatti is a thinking-man's actor, someone capable of great range, from the tamped-down anger of American Splendor to the flamboyant expressiveness of Duplicity and Shoot 'Em Up.

The Extra Man () - IMDb

Giamatti has the range to carry a film like Cold Souls. Dano does not. Dano's range seems to run from interior to catatonic. When first seen, he is a prep-school teacher in Princeton, but his contract isn't renewed when a colleague comes upon him modeling another colleague's bra in the teacher's lounge. This leads to a subplot about Louis' desire to be seen as a pretty young woman.

THE EXTRA MAN Featurette Starring Kevin Kline

It seems both contrived and a little icky, particularly when the beanpoley Dano dons a satin slip and wig and starts frequenting a spanking dominatrix. Anyway, Ives decides to seek his fortune in Manhattan -- and winds up renting a room on the Upper East Side from an old-school escort named Henry Harrison Kline.

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Henry is an "extra man" -- someone presentable enough to serve as the date for rich and elderly widows for dinner or the theater or wherever. He also teaches at Queens College and fancies himself a playwright -- but his escort work is his bread-and-butter, taking him to Palm Beach for the winter and the Hamptons in the summer. You could call this a coming-of-age comedy or a buddy comedy or an odd-couple comedy, but Dano rarely figures into the actual humor of the piece.

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The laughs are generated by Kline as the vainglorious Henry, who does free-form dance in his living room to exercise and has perfected the art of sneaking into the opera at intermission. He has an unkind word for everyone and most of them are very funny. So is Reilly, as his Mr.

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Fixit neighbor. Reilly, with a wildman beard and head of hair, also sports a hilariously high voice and an unexpectedly formal manner. Seldes, as the widow whose will Henry would most like to be remembered in, also has a wonderfully dry manner. The Extra Man offers a glimpse of a disappearing New York, one infused with the grand manner of the past. Unfortunately, there's no avoiding Paul Dano, the anchor that prevents The Extra Man from ever truly taking flight.

Review: 'The Extra Man' is a gentleman nutcase

He can say so much with his face. And because Kevin is such a big character and is talking so much we wanted somebody who could say a lot with just a look or face. Springer Berman: It was really funny because we shot all in New York City and he was walking down the street and I saw a little girl run away crying. I really see myself doing this.

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  5. Springer Berman: He has long legs! It was really shocking the first time we saw him, we were all kind of taken aback…. Springer Berman: We had to put him in a really ugly wig because…in the first wig we had him in, he looks kind of pretty. And it became scandalous when it aired because the cameras kind of tore the family apart, the presence of the cameras.