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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Hilarious and Dark

10/10
Author: PAUL TAEGEL from LOS ANGELES
7 November 2003

A struggling actor finds the best way to break into Hollywood is to start knocking off the competition. But what makes Break a Leg a real gem is the sardonic look into the existence of the struggling (and not so) LA actor. It brings us into that world with effortless irony and wit. It's also got a polished look and very adept direction under Monika Mitchell. Break a Leg is one of those rare independent films that doesn't compromise its production values at any level. The writing is tight, the dialogue first rate. Cassini is an actor's actor, and the role really shows off his talents. The climactic scene between him and Rene Garcia is an instant classic, and may go down as one of the funniest Hollywood scenes of all time. I saw it at an advanced screening, and everyone in the audience laughed uncontrollably and raved about it afterwards.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

good story, some great shots

6/10
Author: jm-66 from Scottsdale, AZ
8 April 2004

The story was written well, and it kept my attention. There were some great shots and sequences in the film. There is a sequence where the main character (played by John Cassini) is acting out his part as a priest...delivering his lines to black x's on a green screen. The camera clips back and forth between Cassini's priest and the x's as his lines are spoken. A shot that particularly stood out was a 30-second shot of Cassini inserting a blue contact lens over his brown eye, the lens doesn't quite want to stay in place, over and over Cassini blinks, and finally the lens slides into place. Fantastic shot. Enjoyable film, I would recommend it.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

terrific

Author: (zimbean-4)
7 April 2004

Easily the best feature I saw at the Phoenix Film Festival, it deserved the best film award it received. The story is original. The writing is clever, funny and dark, and has a ring of veracity thanks to the writers' experience in the industry. The story structure is right on, with a satisfying climax. The acting was mostly terrific, especially Jennifer Beals -- I've never witnessed a better performance from her. John Cassini is right on the money, and the always great Molly Parker is great yet again. It's very well cast. My only complaint is that the psychedelic Shakespeare scene went on for far too long. Thanks for brightening an otherwise dreary Phoenix Film Festival.

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Funny movie, perhaps worth your time

5/10
Author: erikylin from San Francisco
22 April 2004

I saw Break A Leg as the opening night film at the SF Indie fest on Feb 5th. Break A Leg follows the struggles of an actor (John Cassini) trying to make it in Hollywood. After continually losing out on roles to other actors, he resorts to violence to eliminate the competition.

This movie is very funny, and the audience was laughing throughout. The tone is a little uneven, particularly in the final third, but the well scripted dialogue and fine work by the actors pull it through in the end. John Cassini and Rene Rivera both do a great job in this movie. Hopefully both of them get a lot more work in the future. There are also a number of hilarious cameos by Hollywood regulars.

The film is shot pretty well, and most of the visuals look good. The sound left a little to be desired - some of the dialogue is a little muddy and hard to understand. (Note: this may be due to the theatre where I saw it. They had to restart the movie after we were about 5 minutes in due to 'audio difficulties.')

Overall, it's a decent but not great movie. I went with a group of six people to the movie and all agreed that there were some hilarious moments, but all-in-all it's a so-so movie. Is it worth a trip to the theatre? Maybe, if you like movies with an indie feel and enjoy send-ups of Hollywood. Is it worth watching if it ever came out on DVD? Definitely.

5/10

Fun facts:

-The director (Monika Mitchell) and the lead (John Cassini) are married.

-In a Q&A session afterwards, Monika Mitchell mentioned that there are a whopping 64 speaking parts in the movie.

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Very uneven

Author: gordycam from Los Angeles, CA
2 October 2004

I stumbled across the film at the San Diego Film Festival. The film has moments, especially the beginning is told nicely (the scene when Mateo decides to go after another actor who got his part), but then it becomes very confusing and somewhat indulgent. On one hand the film has plot holes. Certain scenes were left out probably because they didn't have time during production. On the other hand the film spends too much time on things that have nothing to do with the premise.

The worst part for me was a weird monoloque that Matteo had, voicing his frustration about his situation. I'm sure it was supposed to be this great character revelation, but it wasn't.

Cinematography and Production Design were both weak. The best part is Molly Parker. All in all, this movie, unfortunately is not as good as the premise sounds.

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

I thoroughly enjoyed this film...

8/10
Author: djdaveathome_2000 from Canada
9 January 2005

After seeing 'Break a Leg' in Vancouver at the release party I thought it was a very enjoyable film.

I had a few outright belly laughs and some of the cameos (Eric Roberts in particular) were a scream. I haven't heard word about actual release date although I've heard it's close.

The story is simple but is mainly a vehicle for the characters and situations. The script is smooth and seamless, the plot develops effortlessly and the acting is comfortable yet fresh. This film has won at least one award from EACH of the film festivals it's been in, which is around 10 - 15 or so.

I highly recommend 'Break a Leg'.

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6 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Totally Baffled?!? The Worst!

1/10
Author: rallygolucky from USA
14 May 2004

This was the worst movie I saw at WorldFest and it also received the least amount of applause afterwards! I can only think it is receiving such recognition based on the amount of known actors in the film. It's great to see J.Beals but she's only in the movie for a few minutes. M.Parker is a much better actress than the part allowed for. The rest of the acting is hard to judge because the movie is so ridiculous and predictable. The main character is totally unsympathetic and therefore a bore to watch. There is no real emotional depth to the story. A movie revolving about an actor who can't get work doesn't feel very original to me. Nor does the development of the cop. It feels like one of many straight-to-video movies I saw back in the 90s ... And not even a good one in those standards.

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Break a Leg literally

5/10
Author: jadzia92 from Sydney, Australia
11 July 2014

"Break a leg" is the expression of good luck to actors about to make their latest performance. However struggling actor Max Matteo (John Cassini) really took that saying literally as he went to great lengths to get a part. Break a Leg is quite a disturbing film but it does succeed in delivering its message of how hard it is for actors, whose names aren't very big, to get an acting job. Max Matteo's motivation in breaking legs literally has been emphasised by his own lack of confidence in getting a part on his own merits. This lack of confidence is what makes Matteo a very dark character, the darkness of which has been reflected throughout the atmosphere of this movie. On reflection now the movie's denouement is perhaps what should have been expected because once one crosses a dark path that one would reach a very dark destination.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Not all that.

6/10
Author: elaborate_burn
5 April 2004

Just saw this at the Phoenix Film Festival where it won the coveted Best Film Award. Suffice to say, I'm not quite sure why it won this award. I saw much better films at the festival. This was nothing special. Basically, about a struggling Italian character actor who decides to take matters into his own enraged hands to achieve his big break after pilfering in the rediculous film industry for too long. I was impressed with the cast they managed to get, esp. all the celebrity cameos. However, I felt this film felt like an old episode of "Tales From the Crypt" where the actor kills his competition more than anything else. I loved the climatic scene with the actor and and undercover cop who, for some rediculous reason, also happens to be very talented, but that's about it. I found the humour and plot to be very predictable and lame. The symbolism was truly putrid (Jennifer Beals gets her big casting break, then breaks her leg, how quaint!) There have been plenty of great films about the rage of rejection in the film business, murder in the entertainment industry, and paranoid psychotics, but this ain't one of them. It's amusing enough with great acting, cinematography and editing. But nothing truly memorable. Mainstream-pandering if anything else. 6/10.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Surprisingly Good!

7/10
Author: chrisaltman-1 from United States
26 January 2008

I was pleasantly surprised I quite liked this movie. Witty writing (some "inside" jokes I got, others I didn't - maybe due to actors speaking on top of one another), great acting (notably John Cassini), great cameos, interesting and unique directing. I rented it to see Jeffrey Meek (very disappointed he was in it such a short time, blink and you'll miss him!) but found the movie remarkably entertaining. I'll actually watch it again before I send back to Netflix. I think actors and wanna-be actors will thoroughly enjoy this movie. The ending is somewhat expected but wish they'd done something different (and more positive). Too bad the movie wasn't better received except for in the "festival" market. I suggest it to anyone who loves the acting biz.

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