Edgemar Center for the Arts
Two screenwriters in love write a romantic comedy which quickly gets rejected. Then, the girlfriend of the duo devises a plan to trap the three Hollywood bigwigs and convince them to make the movie.
Sounds like a good plan, in theory. Ashley and David (Kate Hollinshead and Chris Petschler) have a hot piece of property that quickly turned ice-cold. Ashley dreams of her big wedding to David while David dreams of selling their script to afford a wedding and the current bills that have escalated. The perky English blonde just got fired from her catering job and David doesn’t have make enough as a photographer. And like the rest of this country, they are about to lose their home.
Sweet and innocent looking Ashley, concocts a devious plan, unbeknown to David, to kidnap the three big-shot producers, the cantankerous Leo Goldberg (Peter Van Norden) and bickering divorced couple Jessica and Burke (Catherine Schreiber and Joshua Grenrock). Ashley is a sweet and endearing soul who’s out to help her man. So imagine David’s surprise when he comes home and finds three of Hollywood’s big dogs trapped in his soon-to-be foreclosed home with his woman waving a gun at them.
That’s pretty gangsta from a woman who channels Martha Stewart in making sure her “guests” are comfortable by feeding them and being as hospitable as possible. It doesn’t take David long follow suit and pretty soon he’s waving the gun evoking Clint Eastwood’s role from “Unforgiven” but instead getting the dimwitted Mongo from “Blazing Saddles.” And, then, something remarkable happens: the wanna-be Bonnie and Clyde of the movies grab the producers’ interest and get honest feedback, which is probably even scarier than the kidnapping.
So, everything is going to plan. The couple have the producers undivided attention, they seem to like the script, as if they had a choice, and then, like any good comedy, slam! Something else comes in and adds a new twist to the already outrageous plan. This faux pas comes in the form of Trevor (Vincent Giovanni). A gorgeous looking intrusion who holds everyone hostage and reveals a secret.
Van Norden is excellent and on point as producer Goldberg. Not afraid to be blunt with the bickering couple or hostage-taking couple, Leo tells it straight with no chaser. He generously provides advice on how to fix the couple’s story. Hollinshead is pure light and joy as Ashley. She’s a combination of the lethal, sexy and smart Oscar winners Angelina Jolie and the sweet girl-next-door Reese Witherspoon. She effortlessly gets the audience to fall in love with her and cheer her on to victory. Ashley should be canonized as the Patron Saint of Writers.
The entire cast work beautifully together in this hysterical comedy written by Grenrock and Schreiber. Clever. Witty. Damn right funny. Grenrock and Schreiber have a dynamic connection in delivering a great script with sharp-fire dialogue, likeable characters and a story, reminiscent of the children’s story the little engine, in this instance, the writers who could. Who else would know the perils of being writers than two writers who probably have more stories to share with the world?
A definite must see again and again.
Desperate Writers, runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 and 7 p.m. until Sunday, December 14th at the Edgemar Center for the Arts located at 2437 Main Street, Santa Monica, Tickets available by calling (800) 595-4849 or online at www.desperatewriters.com or www.tix.com. Tickets are $25.