Woody Allen might have passed on making this film 35 years ago because it was too dated and middlebrow. In a Manhattan-like Manhattan, Adrian (Adam Goldberg) composes music (John Cage by way of Blue Man Group) that’s so arty, no one wants to listen to it. Meanwhile, his brother Josh (Eion Bailey) paints abstracts that are so banal that, as he puts it, “They blend in with everything.”
Such works, of course, sell to corporate clients as quickly as Josh can grind them out, and that keeps the gallery of his representative, Madeleine (Marley Shelton), afloat. But Madeleine’s too snobby to put Josh’s work in a show, let alone respond to his abject advances.
Arrogant Adrian is another matter, and the resulting triangle stirs up some occasionally funny but mostly routine chit-chat about Art. Co-writer/director Jonathan Parker’s snarky dialogue might sting more if it weren’t coming from a comfortably bourgeois point of view — the ideal art venue, he suggests, is a kitsch gallery on Martha’s Vineyard.