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Cannes Man (1996)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  5 March 2002 (USA)
5.2
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Ratings: 5.2/10 from 376 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 8 critic

The Cannes Film Festival. It's where deals get made, producers get laid, and stars get paid. It's where all the movie industry meets to buy and sell all the movies on the planet. And it's ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
François Petit ...
Frenchman
Robert Hockley ...
American
...
Agent on Phone
...
Minister
...
Frank 'Rhino' Rhinoslavsky
...
Rebecca Lerner
...
Himself - Troma Chief
Lawrence Kasanoff ...
Studio Exec
Duncan Clark ...
Duquesne Cameron
Gary W. Goldstein ...
Producer
...
Sy Lerner
Therese Kablan ...
Tawny
Jim Stark ...
Betting Producer
...
Director
Alex Ben Block ...
Hollywood Reporter
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Storyline

The Cannes Film Festival. It's where deals get made, producers get laid, and stars get paid. It's where all the movie industry meets to buy and sell all the movies on the planet. And it's where the art of the deal can be filled with more laughs than the deal itself. Sy Lerner is the quintessential movie producer, when he makes a bet that he can take any kid off the street and turn him into a superstar overnight using the universal language of the festival: hype. He meets Frank Rhinoslavsky and turns him into 'Frank Rhino, one of the hottest screenwriters to hit Cannes since Faulkner and Hemingway.' It's not long before celebrities and producers are lining up to meet this hot young star. Dennis Hopper, Treat Williams, Johnny Depp, John Malkovich and more, all want to meet the 'next Quentin Tarantino.' Sy charms them with his own particular blend of hype and substance, and by the end of the festival, has lined up one of the great casts of all time. But Sy Lerner still has a few tricks ... Written by Clint Weiler

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

5 March 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Canne$ Man  »

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Did You Know?

Quotes

Sy Lerner: Since 'HandGun' and this picture...
Treat Williams: Yeah...
Sy Lerner: I've seen you come alive as an actor again. You were dying on TV. I'm glad you got out of that, shit.
Treat Williams: Ha! Ha! Ha!
Sy Lerner: It's true, you?
Treat Williams: I know.
Sy Lerner: So you got some money. You can be comfortable now. But I've got the part for you. 'Cannes Man' written by Frank Rhino.
Treat Williams: Oh, Sy, Sy, Are you gonna pitch something to me now? I'm not gonna...
Sy Lerner: I'm gonna tell you. Malkovich, he wants to do it. Malkovich has signed to do it. Hopper's signed to do it. Not to act, though, ...
[...]
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References Waterworld (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fantastic Parody of the Self-indulgent Hollywood Movie Industry.
16 May 2004 | by (Orlando, Florida) – See all my reviews

Cannes Man is one of the funniest movies I have ever seen, as it pokes fun as the self-indulgent Hollywod movie industry, exposing how full of crap some of the industry people are, and that includes more than just promoters and producers, but actors and directors as well.

Filmed entirely at the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, is something of a story that models the success of Chauncy, of that old Peter Sellers classic, 'Being There.' Frank Rhinoslavasky (Francesco Quinn), kind of a dumb guy, and part-time New York cab driver, wants to break into the movie business. He doesn't have anything to offer, and just thinks that he can start at the top, as a writer. Opportunity knocks on Frank's door when he goes to the Cannes Film Festival to deliver some props to Troma, Inc.

There, Frank meets Sy Lerner (Seymor Cassell), perhaps the biggest bullshitter in the business, and as each person interviewed in this mockumentary, he has made a fool out of a lot of industry executives and cost them plenty of money. Sy Lerner makes a bet with his friend that he can take any shmoe off the street and turn them into the biggest success around. And Frank is his shmoe. Like Chauncy, Peter Seller's dimwitted character in Being There who was haled as a genius by those who only saw what they wanted to see in Chauncy (and the kicker is that they eventually nominate him President), Frank Rhino is going to create the same success by letting others do all the work.

Sy Lerner takes on Frank as his pet project. He shows Frank how to dress and behave (though Frank doesn't drop much of his idiotic conversation habits), tells him how to respond when being interviewed such as never saying too much, and always being ambiguous. Then Lerner comes up with the vehicle for Frank's reputation, by naming him the writer of a new movie. Only the movie doesn't exist and Frank isn't a writer. And, even knowing Lerner's reputation, people buy into the garbage. And now, everyone wants a piece of that action. Lerner and Frank (now given a fitting industry name of "Frank Rhino") have everyone knocking down their door, hot directors, big name producers, and big shot actors (including some great scenes with Johnny Depp and Jim Jarmusch. Interviews, press opportunities, everything, Frank is the "Cannes Man," and he didn't have to do much to get it.

Even funnier than the fact that everyone is falling for all the garbage Lerner and Rhino hand them, is the intermittent interviews with members of the industry who initially started talking about how Lerner suckered them out of money and then gradually change their tune about wanting a piece of the new hot action, Frank Rhino and his movie. They went full circle.

I imagine the filmmakers went around Cannes and just asked people to take part in it, improvising most of it like Frank Whaley, Peter Gallagher, and Laura Flynn Boyle most obviously do (promoting Cafe Society), trying to sound very important, but only coming off as total idiots and suckers for just another one of Lerner's money-making schemes. There are many other cameos by John Malchovich, Jon Cryer (promoting 'Heads'), and Del Toro and Kevin Pollack (promoting the 'Usual Suspects'), and so forth. And everyone is outrageously funny. This is definitely one of the funniest movies I have ever seen, and one that I highly recommend.

Lerner definitely makes a fool out of Hollywood, and I wonder if this isn't how the real industry operates 80 percent of the time.


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