At loose ends and desperate for a fresh start, two friends pool their meager resources to make an independent movie about two friends at loose ends and desperate for a fresh start, pooling their meager resources to make an independent movie about two friends... and so on into the abyss of infinitely reflecting mirror images. The good news is that first-time feature director Sven Pape and first-time screenwriter Geoffrey Saville-Read spin this precious conceit into an entertaining comic fable about the snares and pitfalls awaiting babes in movie-land. Aspiring actor Lenny (Zack Ward) has been in Los Angeles for years and has nothing to show for it — not even his bit part in CON AIR, which wound up on the cutting-room floor. Reduced to sleeping with a duplicitous casting director (Wendy Worthington) in hopes of landing a part, he's still better off than his San Francisco-based buddy Ethan (Tony Daly), who's been cruelly dumped by his wife (Amy Hathaway) and is sinking steadily into a tar pit of gloom and despair. Ethan comes to stay with Zack and while bemoaning their lots in life the friends decide to take fate by the horns and make their own movie, "Lenny & Ethan in L.A." They secure a promise of financing from eely East Coast acquaintance Jimmy (Lenny Citrano), who knows "people who know people," and improvise whatever they don't know, which is very nearly everything. Their misadventures pit them against a Hollywood bestiary of randy agents, desperate trophy wives, opportunistic has-beens, grasping never-weres and smug know-it-alls, and perpetual hound-dog Lenny's burgeoning romance with classically trained actress Mindy (Jennifer Aspen) proves a sweet development that comes complete with some unexpected dramatic conflict. Once upon a time, only Hollywood insiders cared about the nuts and bolts of filmmaking — as opposed to movie-star escapades, which were always good copy — but in an age when dentists can quote weekend grosses and ballet dancers know their way around first-look deals and back-end points, it's no wonder that filmmakers are emboldened to turn their gaze navel-ward. Unlike the insufferable MY LIFE'S IN TURNAROUND (1994), which tells a similar story against a New York backdrop, Ethan and Lenny's story is as silly and good-natured as the titular twister — not the natural disaster, but the party game that gets players so tangled up they can't tell their backsides from their forearms and don't really mind.
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- Released: 2004
- Rating: R
- Review: At loose ends and desperate for a fresh start, two friends pool their meager resources to make an independent movie about two friends at loose ends and desperate for a fresh start, pooling their meager resources to make an independent movie about two frien… (more)