It Came from 1996!
Ah, jeez. I guess I really should have written some stuff down during the screening of Multiple Sarcasms. I had my notebook out, and my little pen, and I was paying attention and everything, but just... nothing stuck. You have to see something of note in order to take notes (fuuuck, I am pithy today!), but Multiple Sarcasms wasn't even as notably bad as its notably bad title, or notably good, or notably mediocre, or notably anything other than notably unnotable. It's a Timothy Hutton–shaped bag of white noise. It's a romantic drama. Ugh. But here goes.
I can tell you that Multiple Sarcasms is the most 1990s thing since 1997 ate 1996 and pooped out 1998. First of all, it stars Mira Sorvino (not dead!), Dana Delany (still alive!), and the aforementioned Hutton (he walks the earth among the living!). Also, it is about a midlife crisis—remember when that was a thing? (It's all about the quarter-life crisis now, homies!) The movie is set in the 1970s, for literally no reason, which strikes me as the kind of kitschy excuse-to-wear-ugly-pants that 1992 would have loved. Three-quarters of the way through, Mario Van Peebles's character, who until that point had provided nondescript but adequate comic relief, becomes super-gay (all "Oooooh, girl!" and "Bitch, please!") for literally no reason—as though gayness itself still counts as an amusing novelty, which it doesn't. The soundtrack is by the Baha Men for literally no reason! (Okay, that's a lie.) Bill Bellamy directs. (Lie! But go with it!)
Hutton plays Gabriel, a successful architect with an awesome wife (Delany), a spunky, adorable daughter, and a hot female best friend (Sorvino) who loves drinkin' cheap whiskey and tellin' it like it is. Suddenly stricken with that odd dissatisfaction that only plagues happy, successful, rich people in the 1990s, Gabriel decides that his life sucks and turns into a complete asshole. Delany leaves him (full disclosure: I fell asleep during their climactic fight, so I don't exactly know what happened). He starts writing a play about his "shitty" life (hey! Zzzzzzzzzzz!). It proves difficult. Being extremely quirky, Gabriel can write only while sitting on the toilet, while occasionally indulging in an embarrassing fantasy song-and-dance sequence. Eventually, he figures out how to be okay. Yawn, barf, yawn, barf, yawn, yawn, barf.
Though annoyingly uncritical of its lead's self-indulgent bullshit, Multiple Sarcasms is not terrible. The cast appear unfazed by the biological and psychological stresses of time travel (no easy feat!), and they imbue the cliché-ridden script with enough humanity and charm to keep it trucking along. And Hutton still registers as an attractive human man. But if that's all you're looking for, go watch Beautiful Girls or some shit. Big ups, 1996!