“Don’t get a rabbit,” Whit Stillman tells me when I applaud one of the many clever one-liners peppered about his new television pilot The Cosmopolitans. His rebuttal comes in reference to a joke about the universal writerly struggle of not being able to work when one is alone, but not being able to get anything done with others are present—and it’s a sentiment that rings true for the director. His latest work comes only two years after his tap-dancing treatise on the female collegiate experience Damsels in Distress, but before Damsels, it was over a decade since we were graced with Whit’s erudite and cunningly playful charm in The Last Days of Disco. “I like delivering right around Christmas, I feel like it’s my lucky time to deliver a script,” says Whit, whose wonderfully witty The Cosmopolitans, produced by Amazon Studios, is now available for you to enjoy online.
And although it’s been twenty-four years since his masterpiece first feature Metropolitan, Stillman has remained faithful to his affections, populating his films with poised and learned yet aimless young adults hungry for love and social mobility, veering towards the crossroads of their lives. Harkening back to one of his best films, 1994‘s Barcelona, he now revisits the expatriate experience, swapping out Chris Eigman with his uncanny facsimile Adam Brody and bringing back Damsels’ Carrie MacLemore in the starring female role.
In the all-too-brief 26-minute pilot we follow a group of young Americans living in Paris as they try to mask and mend their broken hearts and eternal ennui by passing time in cafes and attempting to assimilate into upper crust Parisian society . As always, Stillman’s great ear for dialogue and affinity for refreshingly imperfect characters entices you into his very specific world—one in which we’re more than pleased to see an ultra-chic Chloe Sevigny pop in from time to time as the sophisticatedly snooty “Gold Coat Girl.”