Jeremy Piven, Sherilyn Fenn, JoBeth Williams, Wallace Shawn, Alex Rocco
Curb Entertainment (DVD, 2011)
This 1997 comedy is getting a fresh DVD release courtesy of Curb Entertainment and MVDVisual. Harold is a tour bus driver who stumbles across his favorite actress, Amanda Clark (Sherilyn Fenn), while visiting a good friend at a cafe. When her agent, Sidney Stone (JoBeth Williams), leaves Amanda sitting alone one too many times, Harold decides to introduce himself and an innocent introduction turns into a charade as Amanda assumes he's a writer and Harold never bothers to correct her. Lie builds upon lie, and before long Harold must "Just Write."
An easygoing and breezy romantic comedy similar in tone and energy to any number of romantic comedies from the 90's, Just Write is a virtual Who's Who of actors and actresses including steady Hollywood character actors (Wallace Shawn, Alex Rocco, Holland Taylor), former stars (JoBeth Williams, Costas Mandylor), television stars (Ed McMahon, Nancy McKeon) and, of course, Jeremy Piven.
There's nothing particularly original or distinct about Just Write, but it floats by quite nicely thanks to the adorable charm of its co-leads and their chemistry. Before Entourage, Piven seemed to be the John Cusack wannabe, a blue-collar guy working steadily in mostly under the radar flicks that were inexpensive to make and usually got their money back. Writer Stan Williamson gives Piven the kind of dialogue he delivers well, a mix of sincere, sweet and lightly sarcastic. Fenn, who never quite achieved fame beyond Twin Peaks, found one of her few really delightful roles in this film, a film that deserved a better fate than it received at the box-office.
The DVD quality is quite solid, though it's difficult to figure out why Curb didn't try to create more extras for a re-release that really symbolizes this new outlet for the entertainment company. Attempting to bring to light forgotten films of quality, Curb is going to have a series of releases starting this year and if they keep picking them this well it should be a welcome addition to the home video market.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic