Thursday, October 29, 2009

Just Write (1997, Gallerani)

A dud in every other way, Andrew Gallerani’s Just Write (1997) at least succeeds in getting together two very alert performers: Sherilyn Fenn and Jeremy Piven. The latter, in his pre-Ari Gold days, leaves you smiling – mainly because he proves incapable of being blank. Even in scenes that require of him to play “tired” or ”resigned”, he seems eager for a next chance to flaunt his incredible energy. That corresponds just fine with Fenn’s receptiveness (and her character’s awe at having this guy thrown at her by fate). Fenn was wonderful as the confused bisexual woman in Yurek Bogayewicz’s unjustly-forgotten Three of Hearts (1993), and here she reprises her earlier role in a way.

It’s a shame that the screenplay takes the path of a rather crass satire on Hollywood crowd’s emptiness (again: pre-Entourage, but with more than four mentions of Sunset Blvd. [1950] in the dialogue). What you’re left with is a joy of the few moments when Fenn and Piven meet for the first time: his puppy-like enthusiasm at meeting a Hollywood star and her relief at speaking to someone she shares a language with. Apart from that scene, the movie is inept; it's failure symbolized by Wallace Shawn’s mechanical turn as a big-shot literary agent.

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