Happy in the Valley (2009)
Written and directed by Lee Madsen, HAPPY IN THE VALLEY, is an off-beat, dark comedy set deep in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley that follows Stewart Fox (William Forsythe) a 50-something photographer, whose days as a premiere chronicler of rock-n-roll greats is long over. He's manages to pay the bills and then some as the self-described "world's greatest erotic photographer," a moniker that rings more hollow every time it comes out of his mouth. Which it does, often. Awash in drugs and alcohol Stewart's lost all zest for life. He's watched over by his beleaguered wife, Donna (Ursula Brooks), who's started to wonder why she stays. Even his models, jaded from years of working in porn, are beginning to tire of him. To help Stewart, Donna hires young art school student Wade Ward (Shaun Sipos) to photograph him for his autobiography "The World's Greatest Erotic Photographer, Ever!" Desperately broke, Wade takes the job but finds his dependence on Stewart for income corruptive. Matters further complicate when Wade falls for Queenie (Zoë Hall), Stewart's conflicted new model who has her own demons to dance with. Wade takes a dim view on the darkly comical proceedings as Stewart races to what may be his final bottom, he drags along a reclusive alcoholic neighbor (Dee Wallace), a lonely detective (Lew Temple), his lascivious assistant (Josh Marchette) and finally Donna who's possibly had enough after all. Redemption may be right around the corner. It's just not for everybody.