Ignore the cassette box of Six Degrees of Separation, on which Will Smith looms large between his costars as if this were a wacky episode of his Fresh Prince of Bel-Air sitcom. Inside is something harder to sell but much more rewarding: an urbane Manhattan tragicomedy about a pathologically imaginative young man (Smith) who comes to dinner and convinces moneyed Ouisa Kittredge (Stockard Channing) and her art-speculator husband (Donald Sutherland) that he’s Sidney Poitier’s son and a Harvard classmate of their kids. John Guare’s glittering dialogue, adapted from his play, sometimes gets too much competition from the lushly appointed scenery, which in turn loses a lot when cropped for video. But none of these compromises can dim Channing’s Oscar-nominated star turn, which surefootedly diagrams the breakdown of a soul amid all the brittle chatter. B+
Genre: Drama; Starring: Stockard Channing, Will Smith, Donald Sutherland, Bruce Davison, Heather Graham, Anthony Michael Hall, Mary Beth Hurt, Catherine Kellner, Ian McKellen, Anthony Rapp; Director: Fred Schepisi; Author: John Guare; MPAA Rating: R
Posted June 17 1994 — 12:00 AM EDT
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