I just watched "The Last Days of Disco" again.
I've always wondered if Whit Stillman's conversation was as full of long, grammatically correct, literary sentences as that of his movie characters. He provided some spontaneous-sounding commentary on the DVD I just watched, mostly reminiscing with Chloë Sevigny and Chris Eigeman about making the movie. I thought he was much wordier there (i.e. more bookish, less sloppy) than the average person, but still not as wordy as his characters. Not that that's problem or anything.
One realistic touch was casting the better-looking actress (Kate Beckinsale) as the bad girl and the plainer one (Ms. Sevigny) as the good girl. I'm guessing that this is rarely if ever a free choice for young women. They would all like to be bad girls, but only the pretty ones can reliably get away with it. When Beckinsale's character finally develops serious feelings for a guy, he abruptly dumps her. I bet that happens quite often. Only a saint can resist hurting the feelings of a woman who had acted like a calculating bitch for ages, but then suddenly turns sincere. Really sincere. How come that dynamic isn't portrayed in movies and novels more often?
Another question: how can Chris Eigeman seem so sympathetic while playing such cynical, unprincipled smartasses? He's pretty much the best thing in this very good movie.
Finally, why are all three of Stillman's movies so good? Um...., well, there's a lot of subtlety in them, and so few cliches. Each one has some characters who are serious men and occasionally features serious conversations, but you get a very strong feeling from these films that the man who made them does not take himself seriously. That's a very appealing combination. Nothing in the dialog or the plot insults one's intelligence, which is astounding in a Hollywood movie. If anything in any of this guy's films has managed to insult your intelligence, you should seriously consider donating your brain to science after you pass on. Perhaps something new could be learned from it. The relationships portrayed are pretty realistic and yet the movies are funny and amusing. Real life isn't funny. Most mortals' attempts to be funny quickly devolve into cartoonishness. Combining realism with entertainment isn't a small accomplishment.