The Man From Elysian Fields surrounds the plight of
struggling author Byron Tiller (Garcia). After one
failed novel and the publisher’s reluctance to take on his
second, Tiller is forced to turn to other means for income.
He becomes involved with an escort agency run by Mr. Luther
Fox played by none other than Mick Jagger. As the movie
progresses, Tiller gets involved with client Andrea Allcott
(Williams), wife of Pulitzer Prize winner author Tobias
Allcott (Coburn). As his involvement with the couple
deepens, his marriage to wife Dena (Margulies) begins
to fall apart.
Unfortunately The Man From Elysian Fields is a less
than engaging story with sporadic moments of insight. It seems
full of implausibility, especially with Tiller using weak
excuses for his daily trips to the Allcott’s residence. His
wife sits pining for him at home and comes off as a flat and
unbelievable character. As the marriage crumbles, we feel
little sympathy for either of the characters.
The main problem with the movie is the trite storyline. Tiller
finds himself in an extraordinary situation, which gets more
unlikely and improbable as time goes by. He is enlisted by
Allcott to co-author his latest book, but of course such an
opportunity isn’t all it seems. In the end Tiller is left
with no credit for a book that he mostly wrote.
The strength of the movie is definitely in its acting. Even
though the likes of Coburn et al. are let down by the storyline
and script they manage to give great performances. Garcia
is likeable as the downtrodden Tiller, and Williams and Coburn
are wonderful as the strange literary couple. Even Mick Jagger
is surprisingly good as the retiring escort service owner.
All in all The Man From Elysian Fields is an average
movie which leaves little for intelligent viewers to chew
on. It stumbles with slow pacing and a storyline that should
be relegated to an episode of “The Red Shoe Diaries.”