Sunday, April 4, 2010

Just Write (1997) [PG-13] ***

Harold McMurphy (Jeremy Piven) is a Hollywood tour bus driver who entertains his customers with stories about movies and film stars. He loves movies, is fascinated by the art of storytelling through movies, and dreams of becoming a screenwriter. Then one day Harold drops into a popular Hollywood bar where his friend Danny (Jeffrey D. Sams) is a bartender. Danny points out Harold's favorite young actress, Amanda Clark (Sherilyn Fenn) and encourages Harold to go and talk to her.

Amanda has been arguing with her agent Sidney Stone (JoBeth Williams) about the screenplay for her latest project - a thriller co-starring Brad Pitt. Amanda is afraid the screenwriter secretly hates women, and her part, as written, will hurt her career. When Harold introduces himself to Amanda as a storyteller, she thinks he's a screenwriter. She's impressed by his insights into movies, has a flash of inspiration, and asks him to rewrite her screenplay. Harold is doubtful, but Amanda is so sweet and innocent, and has such trust and faith in him, that with her encouragement, he agrees. Now all he has to do is find an agent, develop his screenwriting skills and do a professional rewrite before Amanda discovers the truth.

Just Write is a truly heartwarming romantic comedy with an inventive screenplay, believable performances, sweet romantic chemistry between Jeremy Piven and Sherilyn Fenn, and a happy ending. The supporting cast is stellar, especially Sams, Williams, Alex Rocco as Harold's father, and Costas Mandylor as Amanda's womanizing film star boyfriend. Despite being a low-budget independent production, the film won awards at several film festivals, including the 1997 Santa Barbara International Film Festival. If you loved Notting Hill, you will probably enjoy Just Write.

Labels: comedy, filmmaking, romance
Internet Movie Database
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=50, viewers=64)

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