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L.A. Without a Map (1998)

Unrated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 28 July 1999 (France)
A British writer pursues a young actress to Hollywood and needs all the help he can get to win her love.


Mika Kaurismäki


Mika Kaurismäki (screenplay), Richard Rayner (novel) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Tony Peers ... Vicar
Steve Huison ... Billy
David Tennant ... Richard
Margo Stanley Margo Stanley ... Mrs. Blenkinsop
Vinessa Shaw ... Barbara
Saskia Reeves ... Joy
Malcolm Tierney ... Joy's Dad
Margi Clarke ... Bradford Woman
Monte Hellman ... Monte Hellman
Jean-Pierre Kalfon ... Jean-Mimi
Julie Delpy ... Julie
Kevin West ... Spielberg Man
Lisa Edelstein ... Sandra
Michael Campbell Michael Campbell ... Young Porter
Joe Dallesandro ... Michael


An "aspiring Hollywood actress" (Vinessa Shaw), on a visit to a charming North England town, has a brief fling with the town undertaker (David Tennant), who also writes obituaries for the local paper. Returning home, where she works as a waitress at a Japanese restaurant, she tells everyone about the handsome "writer" she met on her trip. Unfortunately, he decides to follow her back to Hollywood, setting up the expected light romantic comedy with asides as the newcomer gains experience about the goings on in Hollywood. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Unrated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Johnny Depp didn't take any money for his cameo. See more »


References La Vie de Bohème (1992) See more »


Written by Sue Vickers
Performed by Manfred Mann's Earth Band
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User Reviews

Date, a bit, but still a nice romcom; Tennant is wonderful
2 January 2018 | by inkblot11See all my reviews

Richard (David Tennant) is a Scottish undertaker who dreams of being a screenwriter. To his amazement, the woman of his casting dreams, aspiring actress Barbara (Vinessa Shaw) meets him unexpectedly as a tourist in his native land. She is flattered by Richard's immediate attentions and the two spark up a friendship until its time for Barbara to go home. End of story? Not quite. Richard decides to take an extended vacation and travel to Los Angeles in search of his true love. After all, maybe his yearning to make it as a screenwriter will be better realized in Hollywood, too. His initial landing in the city is humorous as he goes to the bad part of town and is the target of scorn by the tough guys. Yet, a man rescues him, takes him to a vacant apartment and gets him a job as a pool boy. Now, Rich must make an entrance at the fancy restaurant where Barb works and see if she missed him. It's a surprise and surreal reunion. There are also complications as Barbara has a boyfriend with many connections in the movie business. How can she dump her current beau for Richard, when she is just about to "make it" in Tinseltown? Can she get good advice from Julie (Julie Delpy) , a zany co-worker at the eatery? This sweet film is definitely enhanced by Tennant's winning ways and handsome face. He is a charmer and quite funny. Shaw is beautiful indeed but somewhat of a cold fish. Delpy has her moments while, most importantly, Johnny Depp makes a cameo that is side-splitting. The scenery, costumes, script and direction are all above average. For romcom fans, like me, there is always an endless pursuit to find hidden gems like this movie of 25 years ago.

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France | UK | Finland


English | French

Release Date:

28 July 1999 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

L.A. Without a Map See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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