|Written by||Gisela Bernice|
|Directed by||Linda Yellen|
|Music by||Patrick Seymour|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Production locations||Sundance, Utah|
|Running time||101 minutes|
|Production company||Showtime Networks|
|Distributor||Columbia TriStar Home Video|
|Original release||July 25, 1993|
Chantilly Lace is a 1993 American made-for-television drama film shot in Sundance, Utah, for the Showtime Network and eventually released on video via Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment. The film was directed by Linda Yellen and features dialogue that was largely improvised by its ensemble cast.
Over three seasons, seven friends gets together at a cabin in the Colorado Rockies to connect, grow and cope with life.
- JoBeth Williams as Natalie
- Helen Slater as Hannah
- Lindsay Crouse as Rheza
- Talia Shire as Maggie
- Jill Eikenberry as Val
- Ally Sheedy as Elizabeth
- Martha Plimpton as Anne
- Matt Battaglia as Chris the Pizza Boy
Inspired by Christa Wolf's Cassandra, Yellen said she originally conceived of Chantilly Lace because of the preponderance of "incomplete roles for women, who are sketched instead of developed" in the movie business. She further developed it at the Sundance Film Institute, while Showtime provided production financing.
Yellen worked from a 40-page outline — instead of a screenplay — to extract improvisation from her performers.
In addition to the all-female ensemble cast, the film has to be considered notable for the complete absence of any men in the film whatsoever, except for the brief appearance of a pizza-delivery man, who remains faceless to the camera, while the song 99.9F, from the album of the same name by Suzanne Vega, is playing as the accompanying track during this vignette. Literally, there is no time in the film where a man's face appears.
The Sundance director of feature film, Michelle Satter, said the film explores the landscape of contemporary women's issues with humor and honesty "unlike any American film" that she had seen.
Ken Tucker wrote, for Entertainment Weekly, that the film was "the only kind of feminist slant that gets much exposure on television: well-to-do white women grousing about horrible men and about their mostly unfulfilled needs to be creative."
Emanuel Levy gave it a C+ and described it as "Amiable, well-acted but middlebrow femme-driven melodrama".
- Tucker (1993). "Chantilly Lace".
- Leonard (1993). "One Hundred Years of Altitude".
- Frook (1993). "Yellen's 'Lace' gets blue ribbon".
- D'Arc, James V. (2010). When Hollywood came to town: a history of moviemaking in Utah (1st ed.). Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith. ISBN 9781423605874.