FBI director Jack Devine always sets up his brother Joe as undercover to trick mobsters. His latest cover is as movie producer Joe Diamond, to get Tommy Sanz for Teamster racketeering. His cover requires a script - the one movie theater manager Steven Schats and his brother Marshall 'Paris' wrote, supposedly a cancer biopic. So Steven is hired as director, his greatest dream, even if producing an Arizona desert drama on Rhode Island is far from ideal. When a former Oscar nominee volunteers to star, the cover gets out of hand till everyone believes in it, even the FBI brass- or not? Written by
This movie was based on the real life FBI sting operation in the 1980s to infiltrate the Boston mob teamsters. An FBI agent went undercover as a movie studio executive and contracted George Moffly, an aspiring filmmaker, to create it. Throughout the whole time George had no idea that he was making a fake movie. The sting only captured a few minor Mob members. The details of this unusual story can be found in a GQ article (March 2000). See more »
When Agent Divine is watching the dog in the kennel in Hollywood you can see a red chewing toy next to the dog. In the next shot of the dog the toy is gone. See more »
I suppose I went to this movie for the actors: enigmatic Alec Baldwim, charming Matthew Broderick, turned-sardonic Tony Shalhoub, mafia man Ray Liotta (who resembles a "cappo di tutti cappo" even as the director of the FBI) and thin Calista Flockhart. In the end I came to like it because of what it actually is: a frank story about goodness and dreams and not "another" cover up story for a gang heist.
So you've got undercover agent Joe (Baldwin) who is so dedicated to his job, that he lets someone cut his finger off, just in order to get a longer sentence. Then there's Steven (Broderick), a want-to-be film director, who's still searching for his pot of gold...ah, luck. The rest of the characters orbit gently around these two propellers, spawning a genuine web of film-making personnel. Joe and Steven get to know each other when the detective plans to frame a certain low-ranker of the notorious Gotti family (in this particular case, Tommy Sanz, played by Shalhoub) and decides to pose as a film producer in order to fulfill his assignment. He meets Steven, the fate less anonymous screenwriter and the cameras start rolling...well, more or less.
The film proves to be a productive comedy - as in you'll get plenty of chances to prove your laughing capabilities - and is also dubbed by a layer of "sensfullness", meaning it's a smart comedy. Not all the time,I have to admit, but often enough. If I were to compare it with, let's say, "Get Shorty", a rather similar movie, I think I'd go for this one simply because its got more juice to squeeze. Director/screenwriter Nathanson efficiently parodies a lot of wacko attitudes of Hollywood, even though some of these particular scenes did seem to have been forced into the film. All in all, I'd say it's worth your time!
And one more thing...the intro credits are simply brilliant!
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