Lovely by Surprise (2007)

 |  Comedy, Drama  |  14 June 2007 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 156 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 19 critic

A truly unique and visually stunning take on meta-fiction, Lovely By Surprise follows the journey of novelist Marian Walker as she attempts to finish her first novel.



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Credited cast:
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jimmy Crothswait ...
Customer #2
Customer #1
Ron Gephart ...
Car Salesman
Angel Gunn ...
Mimi's Teacher
Car Salesman
Lena Lamer ...
Donald Meyers ...
Customer in Car


A truly unique and visually stunning take on meta-fiction, Lovely By Surprise follows the journey of novelist Marian Walker as she attempts to finish her first novel.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama



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14 June 2007 (USA)  »

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$1,000,000 (estimated)

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Austin Pendleton was offered the role of Bob but asked to audition for Jackson after Frank Langella turned it down. See more »


[first lines]
Marian: Hey, I was writing this thing, and I believe in it. It can be good.
Jackson: Of course.
Marian: And I just couldn't get over the hugeness of writing a novel. I mean, the enormity of it. And I didn't feel this way until I got to this hard moment in the book. And now I can't seem to recover it. I keep shutting down when I try to write. It's scary.
Jackson: That's not a new problem for writers, of course, you know.
Marian: But it passes, and books are written, and life resumes again. Right?
Jackson: Only if you write.
Marian: Sounds ...
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User Reviews

Truly a beautiful film
19 June 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

We saw this film at the Seattle Film Festival, and attended the awards banquet Sunday where it won The Special Jury Prize in New American Cinema. After seeing 22 films at the festival, this was by far my favorite. (I also loved SEx and Death 101 and Walk The Talk). The story structure of Lovely By Surprise was wholly unique and the script was beautifully written. While the film could be categorized as surreal or non-linear, it was very engaging. I was invested in each of the three stories, and riveted when they came together. ( I refuse to give it away, but rest assured you will be moved.) Having read another review on this site that referred to the film as borrowing from Wes Anderson or Charlie Kaufman- I would strongly disagree. Whoever wrote this hasn't lived long enough to see the real influences in this film. It captures the absurdism of Fellini, Godard's purposeful use of color and space, and the poetic language of Sam Shepard- while living in a space wholly its own. I admire both Wes Anderson and Charlie Kaufman, this owes nothing to either of them. The film lives in its own world. On Sunday, Nancy Bishop (juror and publisher of Venice magazine) announced the jury prize for the film. She mentioned the strength of the performances, and the originality of the film as the reasons for its selection. She specifically mentioned the performance of Reg Rogers. I couldn't agree more. You have to see what he does in this film- as it cannot be described adequately. He absolutely broke my heart. I laughed at him, wondered about him, yearned for him to be back on screen and cried when he went away. Writer Director Kurt Gunn got amazing performances from all of these actors. They were truly committed to him and his script, and it showed. I would specifically point to Austin Pendleton, Michael Chernus, and Lena Lamer all whom gave stellar performances. The cinematography was wonderful. The film was shot on a shoe string but the creative use of the camera was strong and clear. I liked the editing, sound design and must reserve some words for the music which was also really fantastic. I am a film fanatic, and this film goes up there with some of my favorites. If you get a chance to see this movie- see it.

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