Dying to get your mitts on some overblown swingin’ Sixties melodrama? Look no further than Two Weeks In Another Town whose trailer alone promises Hollywood glamour, emotional mayhem, self destruction, fast cars, booze, babes, and bad judgment all set against an exotic Roman backdrop. The energy is so frenetic that it almost makes sense that the main character has just stepped out of a mental hospital. After watching the movie, you’ll feel like you need to be committed yourself.
Jack Andrus (Kirk Douglas) is in a fragile state when he heads to Rome to work on his first film since derailing his marriage and career with alcoholism and a subsequent nervous breakdown. It is agreed that the change of scenery and return to work will do him good, but more chaos awaits in Rome. Throw in a visit from his ex-wife (Cyd Charisse), temperamental actors (George Hamilton, Daliah Lavi), and a failing director, and you’ve got enough drama to set off another nervous breakdown. Jack rises to the challenge, though, taking over for the director (Edward G. Robinson) after he suffers a heart attack and ultimately saving the production.
Two Weeks In Another Town is more exhausting than it is entertaining with its manic pace and extreme melodrama, but it does serve as an interesting time capsule. Based on a novel by Irwin Shaw (Rich Man, Poor Man), the film boasts the talent of legendary director Vincente Minnelli and a cast of icons. Bordering on so bad-it’s-good but leaning in the direction of bad, the fact that this film exists is somewhat more interesting than the movie itself.