Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB. USA, 2004. Morra Brezner Steinberg and Tenenbaum Entertainment, Mandeville Films, Burro Productions, Touchstone Pictures. Screenplay by Jeff Nathanson, based on the article What’s Wrong With This Picture by Steve Fishman. Cinematography by John Lindley. Produced by Larry Brezner, David Hoberman. Music by Rolfe Kent. Production Design by William Arnold. Costume Design by Gloria Gresham. Film Editing by David Rosenbloom.
Hilarious spoof, reportedly based on a true story, brims with vigour and wit and then ends without a satisfying third act. Alec Baldwin plays an FBI agent who comes up with a brilliant scheme to catch a mob boss (Tony Shalhoub) his team has long been after: fake a movie production so the gangster’s truck drivers can get involved and get their boss busted for racketeering. In order to pull it off, Baldwin hires an unsuspecting movie theatre employee (Matthew Broderick) to direct his unproduced script Arizona…in Rhode Island. It’s hard to decide what’s funnier, Broderick’s clueless sap or Baldwin’s burgeoning passion for actually making a movie. Toni Collette is hilarious as a self-important actress who wrangles the lead role, but all talents involved end up wasted by a hasty plot that finishes well before it really sinks in. Still, despite being shallow it is pleasant and fun.