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Hollywood Heartbreak (1990)

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Title: Hollywood Heartbreak (1990)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
L.R. Sharkey
Dan Gerrity ...
Lou Budowski
Carl (as James LeGros)
Carol Mayo Jenkins ...
Roxanne Reese ...
James Woodard ...
Man at Phone Booth
Niles Gregory
Lisa Moncure ...
Herman Grigsby ...
Jere Smitas (as Herman Candler)
Steve Whitaker ...
Mason Dickson ...
Jack Ellis ...


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Satiric Comedy Effort Takes Risks.
5 October 2005 | by (Mountain Mesa, California) – See all my reviews

Much is going against this scarcely-known independent release from its outset: a very low budget; a bluntly satiric take on Hollywood's production methods; tandem story lines depicted with little explanation available to viewers; and probable incest between a woman and her sons, and yet the film manages to deliver, 'tho' not consistently, on an artistic front, is not overwritten, and its conceits often are utilized to add narrative strength. Engaging Mark Moses plays as Randy Derringer, an aspiring screenwriter from Ohio with theatre experience who applies at "pitching" a script to a string of sleazy agents and would-be producers, only to discover that his aesthetic sensibilities far exceed theirs, and he also finds that his primary use to them is for picking up the tab after their expensive lunches. As Randy describes his screenplay to potential backers, we see it dramatized, a dystopian affair occurring after nuclear devastation, featuring a quartet whose roles are only tacit: Adman (Adam), Lotte (Eve), Abbey (Abel), and Carl (Cain), the four ensconced within a large and ostensibly sealed chamber where Lottie states that she intends to "populate the race" with her sons, of whom one, Abbey, is played by Moses, in interestingly structured scenes and, although there is scant opportunity for character development, action is used to override lapses of logic. An outdoor sequence at a West Hollywood hot dog stand is the site selected for the final pitch by Randy for his opus, his target a producer nicely played by Harry Landers, and their dialogue is the picture's freshest, in spite of traffic sounds along San Vicente Boulevard that block some of the conversation, unfortunate since it is the most interesting segment pertinent to character and environment in a work that is laden with a too complicated compromise between satiric humour and romantic drama. The piece is rough-edged, full of flaws, and heavily cut; however, camera angles and lighting consistently demonstrate creativity, the scoring is interesting and usually appropriate, while the playing is for the most part well focused, Moses winning the acting laurels for his dual role including a solid portrayal of a young man unwilling to give up his artistic ideals, and there are top-flight performances as well from Carol Mayo Jenkins as Lottie and James LeGros as Carl. The general themes of the production have been employed often, but director/scriptor Lance Dickson manages to form a texture that raises his film above the standard, although its obscurity is assured.

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