Sketchy Scam

John Guare adapts his hit play with mixed results

"I don't want this to become an anecdote," says Ouisa (Stockard Channing) toward the end of Six Degrees of Separation. Neither did John Guare, adapting his hit play for the movies. But his inspiration was in fact an anecdote -- a true tale about a young black man (here called Paul) who invaded the lives of some well-to-do New Yorkers by passing himself off as a college friend of their children. And though Guare has cleverly reshaped the material for the screen, where it has been directed with elan by Fred Schepisi, the piece is still not much more than a...

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