Written by John Peurach

Sunday, 23 January 2011

image for Beneath The Valley Of The Sundances With Wolves In Sheep's Clothing: Festival Dispatches Part 5 OH, I GOT GAMBLING MONEY! - Not all movie producers at Sundances live by the seat of their pants, some even got spare change.

PARK CITY, UTAH - Don't look now, but it's finally a Sunday fun day here at the Sundances With Wolves In Sheep's Clothing Film Fest.

And while, in every other end of the out-of-town yard and/or corner of the everywhere else pool, it's a more or less a day of rest, here at Sundances' hipper-than-thou ground-like zero, it's anything but, and, more often than not, a whole lot more.

Especially if you got calls to make, hands to shake, folks to meet, too much to eat, backs to pat, gals to gat, places to be, films to see, gums to run, and well, so many other pressing things that just need to get done.

Not counting, of course, palms to grease, buyers to fleece, and making sure that both Mario Cantone and Colin Farrell each satisfy their quickly imposed community service requirements (in time for tonight's "L.A. INCIDENTAL" premiere) brought on by their rather public confrontation at Lorraine's Log Cabin Lounge, when, according to witnesses, someone (I'm not saying who) seemed to go above and well below the standard good taste limit when he repeatedly used Liza's name in vain during a scuffle of major b-slap proportions.

Oh well, boys will be boys, especially when certain girls are at risk for being on the business end of so much verbal abuse.

And well, speaking of verbal and his good chum Mr. Visual, here are three more all aces films recently unreeled at the best fest in the west.


Talk about laugh riots! This totally winning, WTF comical romp, zeroes in full (anything but) bore on what certainly must be the most interesting man in an otherwise rough and tumble, back road world, far from the sane line of "normal" humanity.

But then, along the way, and, especially by film's end, that's what makes this special detour through the sticks such an ongoing do-not-miss visual opportunity for one and all.

All of which gets jacked up into the stratosphere once this devil may care cut-up goes for a non-traditional way out loop-d-loop when, due to a sort of Manchurian Candidate-like transformation caused by unlimited overexposure to frequent screenings of "Rio Bravo," he turns into a wolfman that for some reason winds up channeling the true, cocktail lounge, high ball spirit of Dean Martin.

Who woulda thunk it?

More importantly, who can resist it?

The answer is no one.

Which is most likely why the Farrelly Brothers are running this show, and why Danny McBride ("East Bound and Down," "Tropic Thunder," and "Pineapple Express) is allowed to repeatedly go ape.

Some of those who just love getting in his "Everybody Loves Somebody" path of sorts are: Julie Bowen, Kaley Cuoco, Elliot Gould, Julianne Moore, George Segal, Donald Sutherland, and Sean Young.


A thoroughly entertaining behind the scenes look at what suddenly goes on (if not delightfully wrong) with the used to be quiet life of an already successful, mostly mystery writing woman, whose random collection of mirthful faux news items and magazine pieces somehow out of the blue becomes an immediate best-seller.

All of which turns her into an, at long last, certifiable overnight sensation of the "You Go, Girl!" kind, that draws an equal amount of whirlwind attention from Hollywood, Broadway, Wall Street, and, last, but certainly not least, Oprah Winfrey, who throws out all her usual Book Club rules to install this strange but not true volume of comic oriented whatnot as her all-time number one on her must-read chart.

Meaning, of course, that it's only a matter of time before this write 'em like she sees 'em gal is also soon enough laying claim to Oprah always susceptible, yet seldom obtainable, BFF heart, as well.

Jennifer Connelly is simply outstanding as Gail, while Marcia Gay Harden matches her all the way as the sister who knows better, but keeps it to herself until it's time for all WTF hell to break loose. But, in a totally fun way, of course.

Meanwhile, director Nora Ephron always lets us know where she's coming from. And well, who knew that this time out that would be mostly somewhere trying to get the hell out of New Jersey?


A totally cute, who woulda thunk it, under the radar look at a longtime, security guard, whose company loyalty and well honed socially inept tendencies are each taken well beyond the standard limit into total knee-slap hilarity, when, as only dumb luck must somehow always provide, his carefully worded, after hours, handwritten scribblings are accidentally discovered and promptly packaged by a far-sighted publisher, who's primary intent is setting the record straight and, as always, pissing off the status quo.

Tiny, tough talking tunesmith Paul Williams stays cute for a change as the Security Guard who knows all, and writes a whole lot more. And, in the end, wins our hearts and full-tilt admiration in the process, as he settles a laundry list of old scores.

Joining him for a rollicking good old time are: Jim Broadbent, Rachel Griffiths, Tom Conti, Sophie Okenedo, and Magali Noel.

Luckily, for all concerned, director Stephen Frears is in a rare, yet, entirely likable, playful mood, from start to finish.


As they say, all good things come in three's.

Who "they" are, is another thing entirely. And, worth looking into, I suppose, if only to maybe option anything good they got laying around that doesn't already have Johnny Depp's (or, Casey Affleck's) fingerprints all over it.

(Next: PART 6 - This is the end, my only friend.)

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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Topics: Sundance
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