5.7/10
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Ellie Parker (2005)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 14 July 2006 (UK)
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A hilarious comic portrait of a young woman's struggle for integrity, happiness and a Hollywood acting career.

Director:

Scott Coffey

Writer:

Scott Coffey
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Naomi Watts ... Ellie Parker
Jennifer Syme Jennifer Syme ... Casting Chick
Greg Freitas Greg Freitas ... Rick Saul (as Gregory Frietas)
Gaye Pope Gaye Pope ... Leslie Towne
Blair Mastbaum Blair Mastbaum ... Smash Jackson
Jessica Vogl Jessica Vogl ... Trixie
Rebecca Rigg ... Sam
Mark Pellegrino ... Justin
Kim Fay Kim Fay ... Therapist
Scott Coffey ... Chris
Todd Coffey Todd Coffey ... Upstairs Neighbor
David Baer ... Acting Teacher
Marcel Sarmiento ... Acting Student
Robbi Chong Robbi Chong ... Acting Student (as Robby Chong)
Jessicka Jessicka ... Acting Class Student
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Storyline

Slice of life look at a young woman trying to make it as an actress in Hollywood. Ellie Parker, from Australia, works hard: she's gifted with accents, hustles to auditions, changes clothes and makeup as she drives across L.A., goes to acting classes and therapy, maintains a friendship with another Aussie searching for the same roles, meets a cinematographer when he bangs into her car at a stop sign, and faces a failing relationship with her slacker thinks-he's-a-musician boyfriend. All this brings on an identity crisis - who am I, and should I keep trying to be an actress? Ellie's balancing act and her inquiry into self carry the story. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What happens when you become the person you pretend to be?

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some sexuality and drug use | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 July 2006 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Ele Parker See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,299, 11 November 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$34,410
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Naomi Watts filmed her scenes in between takes while working on the film The Ring Two (2005). See more »

Goofs

Ellie uses a folding step stool to climb into the garbage can, but when the car pulls up and she climbs out, it's gone. See more »

Quotes

Ellie Parker: I don't hate myself enough to love you.
See more »

Connections

References Mulholland Dr. (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Opening Credits Song
Written and Performed by BC Smith
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User Reviews

 
Naomi Watts Comic Tour De Force in Predictable Story
27 November 2005 | by noraleeSee all my reviews

"Ellie Parker" feels like an extended episode of "Unscripted" through the funny lens of Albert Brooks.

It does show the strains of being expanded from a short, for bits that feel like a "Saturday Night Live" routine, and for typical targets for actors -- acting class, slacker boyfriends, friends competing for the same lousy roles in cheesy WB and Fox TV pilots, pretentious indie directors (and I assume it was intentional that the guy looked like Jim Jarmusch), scheming casting agents, and phony producers.

But it still manages to very amusingly have some original takes on Hollywood. The funniest angle is that no one does know who they are any more, whether from class, day jobs, rapid-fire auditions, therapy, one-night stands of flexible sexuality and recreational self-medication drugs, so that they always feel like they are acting in the movie of their lives. And everyone seems to want to be someone else anyway, such as a night out to see Keanu Reeves wannabe rock star in his band Dogstar.

Key to the success of the movie is the amazingly versatile chameleon Naomi Watts. While I presume the short started in 2001 before her break-out in "Mulholland Drive" as a bit of envy revenge when her good friend Nicole Kidman was already getting big roles, it now seems like nostalgia because she's so beautiful here it's hard to think of her being dumped or cheated on and so talented as she morphs from tragic Southern belle to channeling Debbie Harry as a New York doll to looking astoundingly like the naive young Hayley Mills and a self-referential take on Marilyn Monroe that it's hard to believe Leslie Bibb would get a role over her. She has terrific best friend chemistry with fellow Aussie Rebecca Rigg (who I did not recognize at all from "Farscape"), making me realize how few films showcase Watts with female bonding relationships.

While the in-Hollywood jokes get a bit much and the basic arc is predictable, there are a lot of chuckles. Chevy Chase is very funny in a grown-up cameo as her agent.

I know this may come as a shock to actors, but job hunting is just as merciless in other fields so we civilians can relate to Ellie Parker's travails. It is very sweet that the closing credits include director/actor Scott Coffey's tribute to the strong women who inspired him, particularly his mother.


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