The beginning of this flick reminded me of the play "Lost In Yonkers" with the exception that these young people were all from an upper class (status wise) family and had exceptional, individualistic talents. Christopher Plummer, long a favorite of mine, was just plain silly as the old magician. But we won't dwell on that. If you find that something you thought you really, really wanted no longer seems to desirable, this is the day to admit that to yourself and let the old dream go. That was the whole premise of this story.
Many people paint illusions and live in unreality, but these beatnicks of rare abilities are strange being, lost souls. The father who knows best is a master at demolition of old buildings and finds one where he transplants his weirdly-talented offspring to fend for themselves. The sisters made risque films and accumulated tenants who lived there in the tenement free if they participated in the montage for a calender, one you would never believe or expect from such a high-class background as these two girls. The young man is a computer whiz who develops his own games online and helps out with the charade when needed.
On the dance floor, "I've forgotten the steps.' "Your head has, but your heart hasn't." We never forget the music we loved or which helped us to grow up alone or with a large family; music is what soothes the soul when it needs balm. Who stopped the music, one asked; the father declared, "I did." And he paid for it bigtime. Stewart (Dabney Coleman) had a breakdown of sorts and learned to speak in 'tongues.' And so he and his wealthy wife fit right in with the rest of this weird group. None were ordinary. They learned a new level of confidence there in their artsy atmosphere. It was all a surrealistic fantasy and the gold eye makeup on the lotus flower was extravagant.
It sometimes takes failure to appreciate your success. Watching Stewart bid farewell to his office staff was worth the whole film. The grown-up kids were what really made the movie, however. What's the point of life -- it's just a rehearsal. They learned that life really is just an adaptation, all a game to be played out. The eerie house had fulfilled the need and so it too hit the dust. If you have not seen this one, it will keep you wondering how they got away with some of it past the censors and the rest will keep you in stitches. Coleman was the original Steve Martin.