Coffee-table filmmaking. And if there's one (sub-)genre of film to which I will likely never warm, it's coffee-table filmmaking. One wonders if the New York art elite wouldn't rather attend a live performance of Beethoven's exquisite Opus 131, the String Quartet in C# minor - why make a film about it? Posh New York musicians in posh New York apartments playing posh music, and all with very posh problems. All save one: Christopher Walken's cellist Peter, whose Parkinson's diagnosis is the first domino in the line of misfortunes to befall the Fugue Quartet. His is the only problem in which he played no conscious role, though, and his domino falls in the opposite direction to the rest of the line, so why is it that the other three members' lives begin to crumble too? I suppose their egos stretch so far out that it doesn't matter where that domino fell, it hit them anyway. You know that one where the violist was once in a relationship with the 1st violinist, but now she's married to the 2nd? Yup. And the one where they have a row in the back of a taxi so he cheats on her and she finds out and they split up? Yup. And now the 1st is secretly seeing their daughter, whom he teaches? Yup. And you know the way this all happens to real people in real life? No. Even the musical elements of the film are flunked - the actors do commendable jobs of faking professional musical aptitude with all possible precision, but repeated shots of this only make it ever more obvious how dreadfully inept their attempts are. It's comically excruciating in the final scene. And the screenplay treats the music with intense reverence, yet a lack of erudition, offering up tedious platitudes regarding the power of music, and the lives of musicians, in wordy scenes which go utterly nowhere. This is a film mostly consisting of people verbalising emotion after emotion, to either no perceivable end or to a most predictable one, as if these actors weren't capable of expressing all of this in about a tenth of the time. They ought to have cut most of the dialogue, and concentrated on the Beethoven - I'd rather attend a live performance of it, even if Christopher Walken does have to spoil it. Let him - he hits the only true note in this tiresome film.