A television network is making a pilot of Mike's quirky comedy based on the aftermath of his brother's suicide. As the network suits ask for change after change, and as Mike struggles with compromise, there are strains on families, execs who show rushes to their children, leads who feel each other out, and assistants who put a smile on everything. Can an honest show get made in the world of reality TV chasing an audience of teen-aged boys?Written by
I readily related to the central plight of David Duchovny's character - writing and submitting what we're to assume is a perfectly good, heartfelt and sincere script only to be asked to compromise it's most significant and defining characteristics in ways that change the entire premise of the story. With real world responsibilities, he's forced to choose between his ability to provide for his family and his artistic integrity. I think we've all been there in one way or another - those REAL compromises in life where either option requires us to face a devastating loss.
This movie was emotionally stirring as well as funny - a troubling funny, a dark funny, where the real laughs are in the subtext - the absurdity of the whole ordeal.
David Duchovny's performance was, imo, perfect. I actually prefer him in more overt comedic roles but he owned this character in all it's deadpan glory.
I think the most surprising performances were from Judy Greer and Sigourney Weaver. I knew Judy did good comedy, but the subtle approach she applied to this character was flawless. Like Duchovny, she was funny without ever seeming like she was actually trying to be. She didn't play the character funny, she played a funny character - if that makes sense to anyone but me.
Weaver, unfortunately, lands on the other end of the spectrum - as the most disappointing performance. She appeared almost desperate for a laugh in most scenes and her character never seemed to have center. Then again, people in Weaver's character's position tend to be over-animated, two-dimensional, self-ingratiating twits with no artistic vision. So, perhaps she played her character perfectly. Decide for yourself.
Extra props to Fran Kranz for his brilliant portrayal of a slightly psychotic bad actor, Ioan Gruffudd for being so damned likable as opposed to the typical "stuffy brit" stereotype found in most American movies...and finally, Justine Bateman and Willie Garson for breathing real life into their relatively small roles. Well done...
Bottom line: This movie touched me. I don't think we can ask for any more from our entertainment than that.
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