Hurlyburly (** ½) - And speaking of exercises. On one hand, once again, you’ve got top-notch actors giving to-notch performances spitting out dialogue that has a nice kinda dance to it. On the other hand, you’re basically left with yet another Hollywood drug tale that really isn’t about much except certain ideas and no real values.The only real thing to truly grab onto character-wise here is the paranoia drummed up by the Sean Penn character (in another incredible performance) when he’s all drugged up. We don’t really get a good sense of who these characters are as they are very loosely defined. Penn and Kevin Spacey work within the Hollywood system and have steady jobs. Chazz Palminteri (at his scariest) is a struggling actor with on-again/off-again marital problems and I never really got Garry Shandling’s position. The women are basically presented as objects within their world. Meg Ryan is an extremely easy exotic dancer and young Anna Paquin literally plays a stray whom Shandling brings over to see if Penn and Spacey “want to keep her.” Robin Wright Penn is the only female character not represented as a whore or a slut and she represents a threat to Sean’s character - who is threatened when anything from the outside world seems to intrude his space and he uses drugs to escape from it. There’s a lot to watch here in this film - all of the actors are terrific and its rare that you can get a cast like this together. There are very good scenes as individual scenes, but once again it doesn’t really add up to much, even to take any kind of stance of pro-drug vs. Anti-drug. Even Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, one of the best drug trips ever put on celluloid, had a point behind it, and it was funny and scary at the same time.This is a well-written dialogue film and most of the time I enjoyed watching it, but walked away from it kind of like a flat soda. The ingredients were all there, but it had none of the bubbles.