The Misadventures of Margaret

Director: Brian Skeet
Screenwriters: Brian Skeet

Institute History

  • 1998 Sundance Film Festival


With a respectful nod to Preston Sturges and Joseph Mankiewicz, The Misadventures of Margaret is a joyously effervescent romp in the hallways of Hollywood’s golden age of comedy. Effortlessly blending drama and zaniness, Brian Skeet and his talented troupe of actors have created a sly little gem of comic seduction. An accomplished novelist, Margaret Nathan begins to question her safe, ordered, and monogamous existence as she turns to adapting the erotic diaries of an eighteenth-century French philosopher. Ignoring her publisher’s warnings (“life is not a Jane Austen novel”), Margaret whipcracks and away to the philosopher’s chateau, taking a risky sabbatical from her gorgeous but bookish husband. Aroused by the diaries’ libidinous pourings and impudent spirit, Margaret fixates on her own journey toward intellectual and, if que sera sera, sexual enlightenment. Unfortunately, in the intervening century her chateau has become a convent of singing nuns, thereby limiting extramarital options to a French sound recordist named Martin Court (Patrick Bruel). Managing to return to New York unsullied and with conscience intact, Margaret becomes more committed to “throwing her last scruple to the wind” when she suspects her husband of sleeping with one of his doe-eyed students. Will Margaret survive her “misadventures”? Will her marriage survive her pursuit of the perfect narrative climax?

With standout performances from the whirling-dervish doyenne of independent comedy, Parker Posey, and her esteemed supporting cast (Brooke Shields has never been funnier!), Brian Skeet serves up a delectable cocktail of satire, slapstick, and sentiment.

Brian Skeet, Director
Born in London in 1965, Brian Skeet began his career in film working as a documentary filmmaker at the BBC, where he produced and directedd a number of award-winning films. His acclaimed portrait of Larry Kramer, Kramer Versus Kramer, was named best documentary at the New York Film Festival. In 1994 he wrote and directed The Boy Who Fell in Love, a critically acclaimed short. The Misadventures of Margaret is his first feature film as writer/director.

— Rebecca Yeldham

Screening Details

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