- Funny Movie on a Movie 1/23/2008 12:00:00 AM by wmjaho
The Deal is a wacky and frenetic Hollywood insider movie about a movie, in the spirit of Altman's The Player or Mamet's State and Main. Written by and starring the extremely talented William H. Macy and directed by his long-time friend and veteran TV movie director Steven Schachter, The Deal is part vanity piece, part industry insider self-indulgence and wholly funny.
Macy plays Charlie Berns, a one-hit wonder Hollywood producer with no money and no prospects and on the verge of suicide. Interrupting his plans is his nephew Lionel (Jason Ritter), who knocks on his door at the propitious moment, carrying his script about Benjamin Disraeli and looking for Uncle Charlie's help in Hollywood. Ignoring the script, Charlie returns to his morbid task, only to spot an article about a blockbuster action-hero movie star (L.L. Cool J) who has recently converted to Judaism and is looking for a Jewish film for his next project. Seeing a glimmer of hope, Charlie hatches an outrageous seat-of-your-pants scheme to coerce a studio into approving this preposterous pairing. Assigned to the project is Diedre Hearn, a second-tier studio exec (played by Meg Ryan, still trying to transition from her girl-next-door pedigree). Charlie is smitten, and resurrected, "Ben Disraeli ? Freedom Fighter" gets green-lighted and the fun begins. There's even a role for Elliott Gould, playing a rabbi who serves as a technical adviser and "Assistant Producer" to the film! I guess Macy decided that at 57 if he was ever going to play a leading man, he was going to have to personally drive the project. And he has written himself a plum role?a multi-dimensional character with a lot of funny lines and Meg Ryan as a love interest! Charlie Berns has suffered all the indignities that Hollywood can dish out. But he's learned enough tricks, and developed enough chutzpah that with a little luck he can really work the system. Macy plays the role with unflappable charm and impeccable comic timing.
The script bounces around a bit, and probably bounces a couple of times too many. The "resolution" feels a little like an add-on, and perhaps could have been left out. So while I doubt this movie will do great things at the box office, it certainly entertained the Sundance crowd.
Sundance Moment: Macy told the long story of how difficult it was to get the project funded, which is a recurring Sundance (and Hollywood) theme. They passed out red yarmulkas to the crowd, and many wore them while watching the movie.
- A hilarious, fun satire of Hollywood "Jewish" film-making 7/14/2008 12:00:00 AM by amish
Just saw the film tonight at the 25th annual Jerusalem Film Festival, screened in the "Jewish Experience" category. This is of course not surprising since the film is hugely fun, mixing Judaism/Israeli aspects into a wonderful satire of Hollywood filmdom. Don't take this film too seriously, although the acting is wonderful, with everyone clearly knowing it's all in fun. Despite that, I really got into the 'vibe' of the story, waiting to see whether they'd manage to finish making the film - whichever one it'll be. The whole Jewish angle of the film is of course especially fun for us here in Israel, and even more so because Israeli actor Sharon Reginiano plays Levy the director and inserts all sorts of comments in Hebrew which may be lost to non-Hebrew speakers, even if they are translated. The film reminded me very much of "The Hebrew Hammer" (2003) with Adam Goldberg which I saw at the JFF of that year. Both films use the Jewish/Israeli/Hebrew slants to the max and are extremely tongue-in-cheek, satirizing their respective genres. Don't over-analyze or dissect this film - just see it for what it is, a fun satire of Hollywood movie-making and all it involves. Don't know if this'll catch on in the overall US/worldwide markets, but we here sure enjoyed it. And if it does go straight to DVD, no matter - just enjoy it that way!
- Not Funny?! 3/2/2009 12:00:00 AM by steve0557
Not funny huh... "Benjamin Disraeli? What happened to Tony Blair?" - "...she throws like a girl!!" - "Hey guys thanks much, you're fired, great input though" - "....colonel America" - "...if you circumcised this movie it still couldn't be Jewish." - "...that's Bobbie's trailer, that's his gym and that's his mobile temple." LL Cool J in a Yarmukuh over a Du Rag: Moderately hysterical. William H. Macy's bare butt: Hysterical. Meg Ryan's choices in footwear: Priceless. Especially when compared to some other so called romantic comedies I've seen recently I was pleasantly surprised and entertained by this movie. Besides, Elliott Gould can make me laugh by just reading the phone book.
- The Deal is the Real Deal 2/6/2009 12:00:00 AM by jlck-1
This star-studed film from Steven Schachter (director of the Emmy award winning TV film Door to Door) is an interesting film with a diverse combination of comedy and action. The Deal features many well known actors including William H Macy (Fargo), Meg Ryan (When Harry Met Sally), LL Cool J (Last Holiday), and Jason Ritter (TV's Joan of Arcadia). This film is a new inside look on the Hollywood scene and should not be missed. I've always been a fan on films about Hollywood and this is one of the more interesting takes on that. I'm also a fan of the every day man acting in William H Macy's. I know he put a lot of work into getting this film out, which wasn't released in theaters. It's now available on DVD so I recommend checking it out.
- satire people! NOT FOR Americans 10/4/2010 12:00:00 AM by lynk37-862-650071
I saw half this film by accident on cable TV, and then went out and bought a copy the next day for 3$ (Sorry Bill). And was very happy to watch it twice. Although i had never heard of it. Look, it's a good movie. 99% of all films being made these are rubbish or you could say 99.9%! The Deal was a few cameos short of brilliant and a bit light on the darker sides. Macy was great as usual, when is not. I feel Macy's character had to be more depressed and a little more crazy and the film needed more of The Player and less Bowfinger. Satire is not laugh out loud comedy it is often just relief that you are finally watching something good. This film would have been a very hard sell, with a smaller budget than Bill and Ben and I'm sure Ryan was working for free or being blackmailed into making the film. This being said they had very good chemistry, although anyone could with Macy, he is probably the best actor working in America-period!!!!! This film type is now a genre with Entourage and Tropic Thunder etc... It is a great shame this film suffers from what is exactly this film is about-the B.S in Hollywood- the out-door luney bin!!! Bill Macy needs to have his own T.V show where he is a producer!!!