Cinema: Dead Letters

BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY

Michael J. Fox is a cute guy and a skillful actor. Jay McInerney's Bright Lights, Big City was a cute novel and a polished one when it was all the rage four years ago. Wrapping them up together was not an entirely unreasonable movie-packaging idea. It arrives, however, looking like something that has been kicking around too long in the dead-letter office.

McInerney found a singular voice in which to recount the drugged out misadventures of a young man named Jamie as he wanders through the downtown Manhattan club scene at its early-'80s height. His book was...

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