Say "Cheese"

Movie producer Robert Evans preserves his golden myth in The Kid Stays in the Picture

Robert Evans, schmatte peddler-cum-actor-cum-studio boss-cum-coke fiend-cum-comeback kid, talks for some 93 minutes about how charmed his life is/was/is again, how thick (and brown) his skin is/was/is again, how great his films were/are/will be again. Brett Morgen and Nanette Burstein's breezy, engaging doc about the man who helped make The Godfather, Love Story and Chinatownis either the world's greatest infomercial for fame (and its omnipresent companion, notoriety) or the saddest eulogy of all -- not for Evans, necessarily, but the dream factory that found Evans, in 1956, jumping into the Beverly Hills Hotel pool a seller of ladies' slacks and emerging from the drink a soaking wet would-be movie star.

Evans narrates in a tone of voice that suggests the devil as best friend and wants to be remembered not for scandal and ruin or even for having withstood such setbacks but for having screwed the best (Ali MacGraw, Lana Turner, Raquel Welch -- the list is as long as his book), befriended the baddest (Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty, Dustin Hoffman, the latter of whom makes a brilliant "cameo" as the end credits roll) and made the biggest movies of his day including, one presumes, this one.

 
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