Frances is the ultimate L.A. party girl who lives for the Hollywood
scene. Lily is in town to hook up with the man of her dreams. When they lose the
wedding invitation, they go on an after-hours search through late-night Hollywood
as they hop from club to club, party to party and boy to boy.
AKA - DESPERATE BUT NOT SERIOUS,
this film is a throwback to the fun and cheerful indies about twenty to thirty-somethings
looking for love and redefining their lives through partying and meeting odd people.
Director Bill Fishman odes a good job of breathing that life into this picture.
His previous credits – only the ridiculously unfunny CAR 54, WHERE ARE YOU? in
1994, and the odd-humor masterpiece TAPEHEADS in 1988, and a Co-exec producer
credit on the highly forgettable western POSSE.
He still does an able job
here, leading the action where it needs to go, but this is an entirely plot-driven
story – essentially a chase movie.
The acting is what really pulls this
one above the normal straight-to-video-comedy dreck. The central cast are all
strong performers with extensive backgrounds as sidekicks and ensemble players,
and the innumerable cameos are hilarious and unexpected. Christine Taylor – Marsha
Brady, the bald chick from Friends, the reporter in ZOOLANDER, the slutty cousin
in THE WEDDING SINGER, and the real-life Mrs. Ben Stiller – puts in an anchoring
performance as the slightly uptight and trying to be ‘together’ heroine of the
story. She comes to town to meet up with a man she spent one glorious day with
in Nepal. The only thing standing in her way is her best friend, an amusingly
out-to-lunch wannabe actress with a lot of issues.
Paget Brewster – best
known for several TV series, particularly ‘The Trouble With Normal’ and most recently
as the friendly boss on the superior ‘Andy Richter Controls The Universe’ – gives
a manic, glowing and comedically sound performance as Frances, the uber-extra.
While she prefers the term ‘background artist’, Frances is a wannabe actress whose
biggest claim to fame is as a nipple double. She parties hard and is constantly
either drinking, drunk or hung over. As a gorgeous flake, Brewster makes Frances
the soul of the film, and is by far the most sympathetic character in the film.
She steals every scene, except one…
Joey Lawrence, that TV Keanu, of ‘Blossom’
and ‘Gimme A Break’ - who launched a New Kids style singing career and a million
magazine covers for Teen Beat and Teen Dream and Tiger Beat and Dream Tigers Beat
Teens – is the funniest thing in a very funny movie. Has Hell frozen over? Am
I dead? Maybe slipped through to an alternate universe?
Joey Lawrence as the deluded former teen star actor, Darby Tipp, you can’t help
but wonder why he hasn’t been funny before now. He obviously has the skills, I
guess he was busy trying to keep that Blossom coifed from getting messed up. Here
his hair is short, his clothes are plain, and he is a comic magician. When he
takes the girls to his place and explains Feng Shui, and then plays Grateful Dead
tributes on his guitar, I nearly wet myself. He offers joints from the head of
a Jerry Garcia bust, and explains ‘They’re already rolled. I have a woman who
comes in. Cool, huh?’. That is funny.
Other cameos include Henry Rollins
as a determined and possibly psychopathic bartender, Max Perlich as the goon who
is somehow the object of Frances’ obsession, John Cusack’s little brother Billy
Cusack, Wendy Jo Sperber from ‘Bosom Buddies’, Chris Hogan, Richard Edson, Nicholas
Sadler, and Judy Greer from JAWBREAKER
Add Claudia Schiffer as a punk-goth
singer, John Corbett as a nerdy bug researcher and Patton Oswalt from ‘King Of
Queens’ paired up with Brian Posehn from ‘Mr.Show’ and ‘Just Shoot Me’ and you’ve
got a full house. Oswalt and Posehn are also hilarious as two track-suit wearing
geeks who spend the entire film discussing the sexual orientation of Star Wars
characters. It continues on through the credits, along with some other good stuff.
Factor – 8
This is a funny movie and for a good time, you could do much
pages are all artful black and white montages of stills from the film. The main
menu has some color with pictures of Lili and Frances in the bottom and top left
with the title in between, A large picture of John Corbett on the right and the
selections down the middle.
Play – Play Movie
– 4 chapters with still photo title cards on each page, 12 chapters total
– Audio – English in 5.1 DDS or 2.0 Stereo ; Subtitles – English
Features – Next section
Crave Factor – 7
or detailed, just simple and fun, like the film.
are very few ‘extras’ on this disc.
Director and Cast – Text filmographies
for cast and the director
Trailer – Theatrical trailer – very grainy
and dark, hard to see, not a good transfer
Crave Factor – 4
nothing to rate, and the trailer looks like a TV commercial for a Canadian Film
Not a lot of flash and panache on this one, sometimes the dark
sets and exterior night stuff are waaay too dark to see a bloody thing, but overall,
it doesn’t detract from the film, if you go into it as a casual viewer, just wanting
to be entertained.
Crave Factor – 6
Lots of shadow, and a few
in 5.1 DDS or 2.0 Stereo.
The sound mix is excellent for such a small film,
Everyone’s voices are crisp and clear, and Fishman watches that old cliché, where
people are having a normal conversation in a crowded and rowdy bar. In this movie,
when they are in the bar, everyone is yelling, two or three times to be heard.
The music is also pretty good, with a lot of L.A. indie kind of stuff mixing girl-pop
with lounge and ska. The two singing actors, however, are absolutely horrible.
Joey Lawrence is supposed to be bad, and he is. Claudia Schiffer, on the other
hand, is supposed to be passable at least, and she growls and snarls and mumbles
so completely off-key that you want to hit the ffwd button.
Not bad at all for a little indie flick, but they usually have better
Conclusions & Final Thoughts
marked down because of the package and the average picture quality, this is a
fun movie. Throw it in for a couple of friends and pop some corn. Throw in a few
fuzzy navels and a couple of slippery nipples and it’s a party.
+ Good fun,
Joey Lawrence is hilarious
- Very slim package – no extras