6.4/10
157
7 user 17 critic

Lovely by Surprise (2007)

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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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Marian
...
Humkin
...
Jackson
...
Mopekey
...
Bob
...
Helen
...
Dave
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jimmy Crothswait ...
Milkman
...
Customer #2
...
Customer #1
...
Car Salesman
Angel Gunn ...
Mimi's Teacher
...
Car Salesman
Lena Lamer ...
Mimi
Donald Meyers ...
Customer in Car
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Storyline

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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Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

14 June 2007 (USA)  »

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Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Quotes

[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

 
Stranger Than Fiction's poor cousin
15 June 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Saw this at the Seattle Film Festival last night.

This film had all the appearance of something I would like, and it seemed like the director/producers had made a great effort to get me to like it (with some pretty blatant references to Charlie Kaufman, Wes Anderson etc.). But, unfortunately, it just fell flat. There was never any actual product placement in the film, it still felt somehow hollow and soulless; the result of an advertising campaign and not a genuine creative endeavor. It was a very calculated sorted of indie-ness, quirky for the sake of being quirky.

Though I didn't happen to see the original webisodes this is based on I did watch Meet The Lucky Ones which I liked a lot more. I think that may have been a much better format for this material. There just wasn't enough here for a whole film, and at feature length the theatricality of the thing - the stilted dialog, broad acting - just became grating. I felt very removed from it all and never connected with any of the characters.

The story has some strong similarities to Stranger Than Fiction, and I had expected to enjoy this "indie" take on the same premise a lot more, but found it far inferior.

At least the soundtrack by Stephin Merrit/The Magnetic Fields was excellent.


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