Watch Metropolitan

  • PG-13
  • 1990
  • 1 hr 38 min
  • 7.3  (12,315)
  • 77

Metropolitan from 1990 is a charming and witty coming-of-age film about a group of wealthy young New Yorkers navigating the social scene of debutante balls, cocktail parties, and literary soirees in Manhattan during the holiday season. Written and directed by Whit Stillman, the film captures the intellectual and emotional turmoil of post-college life for a group of socially-striving Manhattanites in their early twenties. The cast includes Carolyn Farina as Audrey, Edward Clements as Tom, and Chris Eigeman as Nick, among others.

The movie centers on a group of young people who refer to themselves as the "urban haute bourgeoisie". They are obsessed with the social and economic status that comes with being part of the New York City upper class, and as such attend high society parties, art exhibitions, and performances in search of ways to increase their social circles. Audrey, the film's protagonist, is a young woman who is spending her winter break from college at home with her parents. She always felt more comfortable reading books than attending parties, but she enters the fray at the insistence of her childhood friend.

As Audrey navigates the intricacies of the social scene, she becomes romantically involved with Tom, who is also from a wealthy background. Tom is a charming and intelligent young man who is a fan of popular literature, which often gets him into debates with the other members of the group. He is drawn to Audrey's intellect and willingness to be open-minded, which sets her apart from the other girls he meets. Nick, on the other hand, is a cynical and sarcastic young man who is often caustic towards others. He has a deep understanding of the social politics of Manhattan’s upper class, which he uses to his advantage.

The film tackles themes of class, privilege, and group dynamics in a humorous and insightful manner, while bringing to life a bygone era of New York society. The witty dialogue and characters are both endearing and funny; the performances by the cast are earnest and heartfelt. The film is set during Christmas and New Year's Eve, adding a touch of seasonal festivity that enriches the atmosphere. The mode of dress preferred by the characters adds another level to the peek into the lives of the well-to-do in the city.

The black-and-white cinematography lends an air of classic romanticism to the film, harkening back to a time when social status and wealth were romanticised in ways that are not quite so common anymore. The movie serves as a microcosm of the opulence and privilege that have long defined New York City’s Manhattan neighborhoods. This is evident when Audrey confronts the moral ambiguity of her group about their privileged status and their fantasies of gaining and maintaining that privilege. The group has grown up with access to the finest things, but they are also beset with a sense of fatigue and boredom, of being held to these societal expectations.

Audrey, in particular, is drawn to the more honest and genuine aspects of life, the deep human experience that stems from who people are beyond their trappings in life. She comes to see that there is more to life and love than the posturing and posing that goes on during these social scenes. As the group gains insight into themselves, they begin to understand the complexities of life and people beyond their appearance to focus on the substance over style.

In summary, Metropolitan is a playful and engaging film that delves deep into the complexities of New York City society and the young people who are trying to forge their way in it. The characterisation of the cast is uniform so it's hard to choose a favourite but one can't help but enjoy Eigeman's portrayal of Nick, the sarcastic philosopher of the group. The impressive combination of period accuracy and timeless themes, along with fantastic performances, make Metropolitan a must-see for anyone interested in the social politics of the 90s and the people who made it. Overall, the film is one that balances high society ideals with the importance of honesty and authentic relationships in one another’s lives.

Metropolitan is a 1990 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 38 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.3 and a MetaScore of 77.

Where to Watch Metropolitan
Metropolitan is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Max, Apple TV, Amazon and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Metropolitan for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 38 min
  • IMDB Rating
    7.3  (12,315)
  • Metascore