Desperate But Not Serious (2000)
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They were obviously able to pull in a lot of favors in dragging in a bunch of semi-famous TV actors - everybody was scared to say no and didn't want to risk offending the powerful parent.
You know any movie is in trouble when the best actor in a movie is Joey Lawrence and Claudia Schiffer is second.
There are probably 10,000 unproduced scripts in Hollywood about fringe Hollywood players and their story in modern day Hollywood/LA. You know the cliches - usually, it's some unattractive schlub cruisng the Strip, the Hills, etc ... with his best bud - making the scene - all the name of ripping the lid off of the true Hollywood. Of course, it's not very revealing or interesting - SWINGERS is probably the exception to the rule. They get credit for casting a woman in the lead, Paiget Brewster (TV actor) but they made (with her help) her character shrill, annoying, un-likeable, vile and like the men who played the exact same part in 1,000 movies before her - making her so unattractive you wonder why anyone would care what happens to her.
The story - riddled with a million bad cliches ultimately even gets smaller - and ends as a tribute to "Pink Dot" - the ultimate Hollywood insider wink-wink. AS IF WE CARE!!!!! It's not even funny or clever - there's no point in explaining what Pink Dot is but here goes (it's a late night delivery service - the Hollywood webvan except they've been around for 20 years) - are you laughing yet?
This is a movie where the kid of a powerful person decided to make a movie - since their life's experience amounted to hanging out with second-rate wanna-be's and ordering from Pink Dot - that's the movie! Now, you figure how many favors you can call in and you write the story around when they can show up.
There are cable access shows with more imagination.
Set entirely in Los Angeles, we meet wild-party girl Francis and her sweet but naive friend Lily whose evening backfires (they misplace the invitation to an important wedding party, they're stalked by a psychotic bartender and they crash their car, among other situations)
Performances here are exceptional. Paget Brewster (who looks a lot like Parker Posey) exudes talent, beauty and charisma. I loved how she growled at the airport ticket agent and her whole airhead self-indulgent attitude. Christine Taylor in the role of Lily is great. She's funny [especially when saying the wrong things] and effective in raising empathy at times from the audience. John Corbett was fine as Lily's significant other, but suffered from lack of character development and screen-time. Supporting roles including Musician Henry Rollins as a menacing bartender, Joey Lawrence as a dim-witted celebrity, Max Perlich as a sleazy womaniser and Judy Greer as a bitchy "executive assistant" are nothing short of perfect. The "L.A. artificiality" of these characters is hilarious and adds to the plot well. Finally Claudia Schiffer rounds out the top cast as Gigi, a wild musician and college student who "majors in everything". Gigi acts as a Greek Chorus somewhat, dictating much of the action before it happens, before transforming into a guiding spirit of some sort. Some of her lines sound a bit flat (as though she's trying to speak in a bubbly accent), but she shows promise.
Desperate but Not Serious is a fabulous independent movie and deserves a wider audience. It's not to be taken seriously, instead with an "open mind". Relax, pour yourself a drink, Kick your feet up and enjoy Desperate but Not Serious, one of the best overlooked films of 1999/2000.
I can't even begin to imagine why anyone would want his or her name attached to this project. Especially the writers! Who would admit to this? There's no wit or purpose to any of the dialogue. It's like watching bad improv.
And the Pink Dot jokes? I've lived in LA for a long time and they're STILL not funny.
This is bad, so bad. I'm upset that I wasted this much energy hating this movie. I can't believe I sat and watched it when somewhere in the world there was paint drying that I could have watched instead.
The situations are silly but manage to be entertaining.
The movie asks for Paget Brewster's performance. She is great for the role. She's such a good but underrated actress. Christine Taylor delivers a believable performance, she always does. The rest of the cast is just OK. Claudia Schiffer's character does not ask for much and it's always nice to see Joey Lawrence in his typical b-movie performances.
Watch this movie as an okay way to kill half an hour. It's not a good movie but it's not certainly a terrible one. If you watch the movie because it has beautiful women you might also like it. I did.
I often wonder how an L.A.-centric film will be accepted by people who have no Los Angeles experience. For instance, this film's constant Pink Dot references. Does Joe Nobody in Peoria get the joke??
Maybe as an aspiring screenwriter, I should toss the idea of writing for middle America and just right for Larry Studioexecstein. As long as he likes it, I get the greenlight right??
Your thoughts are welcome...