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Always at the Carlyle - May 24, 2018 - SF Weekly
SF Weekly

Always at the Carlyle

George Clooney in Always at the Carlyle. Photo by Justin Bare

There are countless documentaries about Have-nots living lives of quiet desperation, so why shouldn’t the Haves get documentaries about their lives of loud extravagance? Rich Lives Matter! From Michael Mieles, whose Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s was about an upper-crust New York store you can’t afford to shop at, comes Always at the Carlyle, a documentary about an upper-crust New York hotel you’ll never be able to afford to stay at. We’re told the very short man who designed this very tall building “wanted something that would embody what he felt New York aristocratic life was about, which was discretion and the most elegant of everything.”

The only really interesting stories about such places are the dirt, and in the first 60 seconds, we’re told that the Carlyle is indeed all about discretion and that what happens stays there, yadda yadda. So it’s mostly about the staff, as well as the café and lounge and other tony accommodations you’ll never experience, making Always at the Carlyle celebrity-lifestyle porn up there with Mieles’ Bergdorf and Mike MyersSupermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon. And par for the course, the help frequently swears that mega-celebrities are just plain folks like you and me. (Jack Nicholson is polite to the doorman!) In conclusion, eat the rich.

Rated PG-13. 
Opens Friday at the Vogue Theater.