Hidden Gem

Win a Date with Tad Hamilton

by Alan Rapp on February 10, 2011

in Home Video, Theme Week

  • Title: Win a Date with Tad Hamilton
  • IMDB: link

“Sometimes Goliath kicks the shit out of David.  It’s just nobody bothers to tell that story.”

win-a-date-with-tad-hamilton-posterYeah, it’s a simple love story.  Boy loves girl.  Girl falls for more accomplished boy.  A more modern take on the Bye, Bye Birdie story is so delightful that I actually prefer it to the original play and its other film versions.  In in the hands of director Robert Luketic and screenwriter Victor Levin such a predictable story is given class and charm up the whazoo.  And so what we get is a well told and engaging story about great love that changes your life.

Sweet down home Rosalee Futch (Kate Bosworth) works at the Piggy Wiggly with her “Pete friend” (Topher Grace) and her “Cathy friend” (Ginnifer Goodwin).  The three musketeers work together and hang out at the local pub where the bartender (Kathryn Hahn) has made her feelings about Pete a little too clear.  Pete however has been harboring feelings for Rosalee for years and thinks he is finally ready to admit his love.  In a comedy this is where something usually goes amiss.

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Hidden Gem

by Alan Rapp on January 1, 2008

in Home Video

  • Title: The TV Set
  • IMDB: link

“I’m fucking freaked because this show, it’s not Shakespeare I know.  It’s not The Sopranos, but it’s my show and if I don’t worry about the content of my show, if I just sit back and let them turn it into another cannibalized piece of shit then I’m part of the problem.  I am the one who’s responsible for pumping shit into people’s living rooms.  I’m making the world more mediocre.”

the-tv-set-posterMike Klein (David Duchovny) should be on top of the world.  He and his wife (Justine Bateman) are expecting their first child and a television network is interested in this script for a new comedy based on the aftermath of his brother’s suicide.  So what’s the problem?  Well, this is Hollywood.

At every turn Mike is forced to make concessions to casting, shooting, and script which slowly chip away at the original premise until it is almost unrecognizable.  Here’s a great look at how talented people get roped into bad television shows, and how the power does not come from the actors, directors or writers, but the network.

Great performances abound here in this smartly worked script by Jake Kasdan.  Duchovny carries the film, but he has loads of help from the suits (Sigourney Weaver, Ioan Gruffudd), from his obfuscating assistant (Judy Greer), and the cast of the new show (Fran Kranz, Lindsay Sloan).  Gruffudd is especially good in with a character given a different perspective, but still forced to make uncomfortable compromises to get the job done.

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