Metropolitan is a film about a strata of the young and privileged it would be easy to despise. Yet as a result of terse direction, urbane writing, and beguiling performances by a number of new actors, the young, privileged characters at the heart of this film are surprisingly disarming. It’s the Christmas season in Manhattan and the rush is on. The rush, in this case, refers to the heady round of debutante balls and get-togethers that are the highlight of the social season for an Upper East Side bunch still in the thrall of arcane rituals.
Metropolitan is a party-night dream vision of New York, with roots in Astaire-Rogers musicals, screwball comedies, and Woody Allen films. But most notably, it brings to mind George Cukor’s elegant masterpiece, Holiday. Stillman’s first feature is that rarity, a literate comedy of drawing room manners which is at once civilized and very funny.