Sly, sharp and witty, Dorothy Parker and colorful characters of the Algonquin Round Table are the subject of Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, this acclaimed film directed by Alan Rudolph. The plot of the film centers on Mrs. Parker’s life in New York City during the 1920s, portrayed as flashbacks from her life working in Hollywood decades later. Actress Jennifer Jason Leigh, nominated for a Best Actress Golden Globe, plays Dorothy Parker and Campbell Scott takes on the role of Parker’s confidant and best friend, Robert Benchley.

Interspersed throughout the film are scenes of Leigh reciting Parker’s poetry, creating a nice aside from the story. The self-destructiveness, depression, and the dark humor of Parker’s work are echoed in her life story—alcoholism, suicide attempts, failed relationships, and financial struggle are all portrayed in the film. Parker’s fans will enjoy this movie, which is fairly true to life, and regular movie-watchers may find themselves seeking out Parker’s work at the bookstore.

Directed by Alan Rudolph (1994). Rated R.