First Hit: Very well acted film about an actor finding himself.
What happens when an actor gets caught up with himself and begins developing reasons why he won’t take some jobs while missing out on the jobs he wants.
After missing out on a particular job Charlie (played by Stephen Barker Turner) finds himself at a party where he resists speaking with a childhood friend Nick (played by Steve Cell) who may have acting work for him if he can let go of his “stuff” and meet with Nick.
Charlie resists and instead he and his best friend Lewis (played by David Wilson Barnes) get engaged in a conversation with a very young and beautiful woman named Clea (played by Heather Gordon). Heather is a trip and likes to talk. She talks about everything; including that she thinks that the air and rain outside are surreal.
Charlie and Lewis laugh at her, are shocked at her belief system, and yet entranced by her beauty. Then she starts a long dialog about this woman she met who was a producer on a show who was like a Nazi. She goes on and on about this how horrible this person is and when she stops talking Lewis and Charlie tell her that they know this person; its Charlie’s wife Stella (played by Daphne Zuniga).
Back at Charlie’s and Stella’s they have a laugh at how this person labeled her a Nazi with felt pens. Clea has a way with her and when she finds herself facing Charlie again he has an affair with her. Charlie is lost, closed down and not productive in his work. He’s living off of Stella’s work, he needs to borrow money from her and he’s feeling lost.
The affair makes him feel alive again and emboldened. Stella comes home from work early one day and catches him having sex with Clea. This bedroom scene is one of the best written scenes that I’ve seen or heard all year. Each of the three make their point and depending on your level of awareness, they are each speaking an aspect of the truth.
This drives Charlie out of his house and into a self-destructive mode. It is a great scene and is one of many in this film.
Turner is very good at showing the slide from arrogance about his place in life to street person. His inability to really take stock and see himself was perfect until the very end. Cell was perfect as the high charged quazi-friend who is caught up in his own success. Barnes is superb as a best friend who is also needy and looks for a way to take advantage of situations. Gordon is absolutely charming and perfect as a young lady who is crafty, smart, and sexy. Zuniga is a delight to see. It has been quite some time since I’ve seen her on the screen and she was wonderful. Theresa Rebeck wrote a very smart and crisp script and the dialogue she wrote for Clea was superb. Amy Glazer directed this film smartly and with purpose.
Overall: This film was a joy to watch but mostly it was the writing and excellent acting that made this film work.