Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Director: Marielle Heller
Year Released: 2018
Rating: 1.0

Lee Israel (Melissa McCarthy), a celebrity biographer in need of money, has her proposal for a book on Fanny Brice dismissed by her agent (Jane Curtin) so she thinks up a scheme to forge celebrity letters - by Sir Noël Coward and Dorothy Parker, among others - and sell them to NYC booksellers with the help of her drinking buddy Jack Hock (Richard E. Grant). It deserves some kind of commendation, I guess, for making Israel as repellent as possible (no easy feat, since McCarthy is so likeable) but as a fan of the literary icons she's exploiting, I simply could not wait for her to get her comeuppance by the Feds - surely she could have just gotten a job as a copy editor elsewhere in town and tried to avoid telling her coworkers off and paid for her rent and cat food that way (she is barely remorseful for her actions). After a bit the scam gets a little tiresome to watch - duping the ignorant, ho-hum - and not even Grant's flamboyance acts as much of a distraction ... although I am glad he got an Oscar nomination for what's pretty much his role in Withnail & I over thirty years later.