This article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2018)
|Directed by||Robert Altman|
|Produced by||Robert Altman|
|Music by||Michel Legrand|
|Distributed by||Miramax Films|
|Box office||$46.8 million|
Prêt-à-Porter, released in the United States as Ready to Wear (Prêt-à-Porter), is a 1994 American satirical comedy-drama film co-written, directed, and produced by Robert Altman and shot on location during the Paris Fashion Week with a host of international stars, models, and designers.
The film features an extensive ensemble cast, including Anouk Aimée, Marcello Mastroianni, Sophia Loren, Kim Basinger, Stephen Rea, Lauren Bacall, Julia Roberts, Tim Robbins, Lili Taylor, and Sally Kellerman.
Models, designers, industry hot shots and journalists gather for Paris Fashion Week, to work, bicker, and try to seduce each other. Early on, Fashion Council head Olivier de la Fontaine chokes to death on a sandwich, leaving behind a wife, a mistress, and a mysterious Russian companion who has fled the scene.
As the death is being investigated, Fashion Week continues. Injecting herself between the designers, American television personality Kitty gets sound bites from the high-fashion types throughout the length of the show.
Meanwhile, Anne and Joe are two American journalists, thrown together into the same over-booked room. They are meant to cover the show for their respective papers, but skip out on the majority of the festivities to have a hotel-room tryst during the week.
Three rival magazine editors from Harper's Bazaar, British Vogue and Elle vie for the exclusive services of Milo O'Brannigan, a trendy photographer who sexually humiliates the three; leading them to vow vengeance against him.
And fading icons Sergei (the 'Russian with Olivier when he died) and Isabella (Olivier de la Fontaine's widow) hope to rekindle a romance from decades ago, but right when they try to be intimate, he falls asleep while trying.
In the end, Fontaine's former mistress Simone sends her models down the catwalk nude in protest of her son Jack's (who incidentally had been cheating on his model girlfriend with another model) sale of her brand. Kitty quits on the spot, as the nudity confuses her. And the final scene is of Olivier de la Fontaine's funeral procession, after the police declared him dead from choking on a sandwich.
- Marcello Mastroianni as Sergei/Sergio
- Sophia Loren as Isabella de la Fontaine
- Anouk Aimée as Simone Lowenthal
- Rupert Everett as Jack Lowenthal
- Julia Roberts as Anne Eisenhower
- Tim Robbins as Joe Flynn
- Kim Basinger as Kitty Potter
- Stephen Rea as Milo O'Brannigan
- Forest Whitaker as Cy Bianco
- Richard E. Grant as Cort Romney
- Lauren Bacall as Slim Chrysler
- Lyle Lovett as Clint Lammeraux
- Lili Taylor as Fiona Ulrich
- Sally Kellerman as Sissy Wanamaker
- Tracey Ullman as Nina Scant
- Linda Hunt as Regina Krumm
- Teri Garr as Louise Hamilton
- Danny Aiello as Major Hamilton
- Ute Lemper as Albertine
- Rossy de Palma as Pilar
- Chiara Mastroianni as Sophie Choiset
- Jean-Pierre Cassel as Olivier de la Fontaine
- Georgianna Robertson as Dane Simpson
- Jean Rochefort as Inspector Tantpis
- Michel Blanc as Inspector Forget
- François Cluzet as Nina's assistant
- Kasia Figura as Sissy's assistant
- Sam Robards as Regina's assistant
- Alexandra Vandernoot as Sandra de la Notte
In reference to the scene in which Simone's models walk down the runway completely naked, Robert Altman said, "The actors knew, but most of the audience didn't, so I got the surprise reactions I was hoping for. Those women were wonderful. However, I think that without Ute Lemper, the pregnant bride at the end of the show, the scene wouldn't have had that same impact. And without that scene the whole film probably wouldn't make as much sense."
In the United States, the film was released under the title Ready to Wear (Prêt-à-Porter), while the original title was used in other countries. The US DVD and VHS title was Robert Altman's Ready to Wear.
The film was R-rated by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). However, following an advertisement by Columbia Records for the soundtrack album featuring a naked Helena Christensen in The New York Times which also said "See the Movie", the MPAA threatened to rescind its rating unless the company agreed not to use the image advertising the film.
Roger Ebert gave the film two-and-a-half stars out of four and thought it "should have gone further and been meaner; too many of [Altman's] jokes are generic slapstick, instead of being aimed squarely at industry's targets." Gene Siskel gave it one-and-a-half out of four stars and called it "a true bomb as director Robert Altman, on a very hot streak, improbably finds absolutely nothing funny or fresh to say about the fashion industry and the 'journalists' who cover it with a wet kiss. Lacking a screenplay, Altman's intercutting among boring caricatures grows old quickly, and after 2½ hours, it may occur to you: 'I could have been shopping.'" Janet Maslin of The New York Times wrote that Altman's "laissez-faire satirical style proves ineffectual for shooting fish in this barrel. Fashion is too self-conscious to be skewered so casually." Rita Kempley of The Washington Post called the film "a mess" that was "most compelling when Altman turns his camera on the kitschy runway shows themselves ... Perhaps Altman should have made this film as a documentary instead." Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times wrote that the film "sounds like Altman's most recent successes, 'The Player' and 'Short Cuts.' But there is a difference between creative improvisation and absolute chaos, and while those films were delicately balanced balls that magically stayed in the air, 'Ready to Wear,' with a script credited to Altman and Barbara Shulgasser, has a haphazard 'Let's go to Paris and see what happens' feeling that wastes everyone's time and talent." Owen Glieberman of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a grade of C- and wrote, "Virtually everything that happens is held up for our ridicule, yet it's never quite clear what we're supposed to be laughing at. The characters aren't really mocked for their attitudes, their obsessions with glamour and money and style. They aren't savaged in any specific, observational ways that could truly be called satirical. They're made fun of simply because they're silly, trivial human beings—walking punchlines in a joke that never arrives. It's like watching an Altman film that's been drained by a vampire."
John Simon writing for the National Review said Prêt-à-Porter was a picture that only a director's mother could love and that though the film lasted over two hours, wore out its welcome in ten minutes.
The film had a weak debut at the US box office. By the end of its run, the film grossed U$11,300,653 at the box office in the United States and Canada. It grossed $35.5 million internationally for a worldwide total of $46.8 million.
- 8th worst – Janet Maslin, The New York Times
- Dishonorable mention – William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
|Golden Globe Awards||Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy||Prêt-à-Porter||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actress||Sophia Loren||Nominated|
|National Board of Review Awards||Best Acting by an Ensemble||Marcello Mastroianni, Sophia Loren, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Kim Basinger, Chiara Mastroianni, Stephen Rea, Anouk Aimée, Rupert Everett, Rossy de Palma, Tara Leon, Georgianna Robertson, Lili Taylor, Ute Lemper, Forest Whitaker, Tom Novembre, Richard E. Grant, Anne Canovas, Julia Roberts, Tim Robbins, Lauren Bacall, Lyle Lovett, Tracey Ullman, Sally Kellerman, Linda Hunt, Teri Garr, Danny Aiello, Jean Rochefort, Michel Blanc||Won|
- "Here Comes the Hotstepper" (Heartical Mix) - Ini Kamoze
- "My Girl Josephine" - Super Cat
- "Here We Come" - Salt-N-Pepa
- "Natural Thing" - M People
- "70's Love Groove" - Janet Jackson
- "Jump On Top of Me" - The Rolling Stones
- "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" - Sam Phillips
- "Pretty" (Remix) - The Cranberries
- "Third Time Lucky" - Basia
- "Martha" - Eric Mouquet, Michel Sanchez forming the group Deep Forest
- "Close to You" - The Brand New Heavies
- "Keep Givin' Me Your Love" (West End Mix) - Cece Peniston
- "Get Wild" - The New Power Generation
- "Supermodel Sandwich" - Terence Trent D'Arby
- "Lemon" (Perfecto Mix) - U2
- "Prêt-à-Porter (Ready to Wear)". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved February 4, 2017.
- Maslin, Janet (2007). "Ready to Wear (1994)". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 19, 2007. Retrieved April 2, 2009.
- "Su questo circo devo fare un film". la Repubblica (in Italian). Retrieved January 29, 2022.
- Evans, Greg (December 16, 1994). "Miramax hijinks don't 'Wear' well with Valenti". Daily Variety. p. 6.
- Ready to Wear (Prêt-à-Porter) at Rotten Tomatoes
- Ebert, Roger (December 25, 1994). "Ready to Wear (Prêt-à-Porter)". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
- Siskel, Gene (December 30, 1994). "'Ready to Wear' quickly starts to unravel in Altman's hands". Chicago Tribune. Section 7, page B.
- Maslin, Janet (December 23, 1994). "Altman's Swipe At Fashion". The New York Times. C1.
- Kempley, Rita (December 25, 1994). "Altman's Got Nothing To 'Wear'". The Washington Post. G8.
- Turan, Kenneth (December 23, 1994). "'Ready to Wear': Latest in Altman's Fashion Line". Los Angeles Times. F1, F44.
- Glieberman, Owen (December 23, 1994). "Nothing Underneath". Entertainment Weekly. 44.
- Simon, John (2005). John Simon on Film: Criticism 1982–2001. Applause Books. p. 452.
- "Dumb' Laughs = a Smart Payoff : Box office: Jim Carrey vehicle pulls a 'Gump,' taking in $16.2 million on an otherwise slow film-going weekend". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 31, 2010.
- Prêt-à-Porter at Box Office Mojo
- "Prêt-à-Porter (1994) - Financial Information".
- Klady, Leonard (February 19, 1996). "B.O. with a vengeance: $9.1 billion worldwide". Variety. p. 1.
- Maslin, Janet (December 27, 1994). "CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK; The Good, Bad and In-Between In a Year of Surprises on Film". The New York Times. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
- Arnold, William (December 30, 1994). "'94 Movies: Best and Worst". Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Final ed.). p. 20.
- Petski, Denise (August 25, 2021). "'Prêt-à-Porter' TV Series Based On Robert Altman's Movie In Works At Paramount+ From Miramax TV". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 25, 2021.