Either the most inept vanity production ever made or the most deadpan satirical prank ever pulled, this self-reflexive look at Hollywood insincerity, maudlin inspirational claptrap and price-is-no-object parenting stars and was written by B-list staple Tom Arnold. Suicidal has-been actor Bill Williams (Arnold), whose career peaked with his supporting role opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in TRUE LIES (1994), even botches his carefully planned final exit. But that's a good thing, because it means he's still alive if passed out in the bathtub when his sleazy agent (Henry Winkler) stops by with the good news that he's found Bill a job. Not that he actually had anything to do with finding it, but that's just a technicality. Doting billionaire Davis Roman (Joe Mantegna), who'll do anything for his soon-to-be 18-year-old son, Aaron (Eric Gores), has commissioned Bill to write and star in a thinly disguised remake of his son's favorite movie: TRUE LIES. Aaron is a very special young man, purrs Davis' trophy wife, Shelby (Shannon Elizabeth), which turns out to mean that he has cerebral palsy (as Gores apparently does), thick glasses and a speech impediment. Bill's first reaction is that he's being Punk'd, but no. Davis is willing to pay him and an ever-expanding group of collaborators including Bill's ex-wife, high-powered producer Susan Mandeville (Linda Hamilton), and director Penelope Spheeris as herself to make Aaron's dream come true. So Bill cooks up "Two Spies," a buddy-action-spy flick with no bad language (Aaron's mom wouldn't approve) in which Aaron make that "A-Dog" #&151; rescues a little girl's lost puppy, helps get drugs off the street and has a hot-tub scene with lad-mag cutie Arielle (real-life pouty pinup Arielle Kebbel). Over the course of production every cynical showbiz shark on the team is won over by Aaron's indomitable spirit. Promoted as having been inspired by the true story of Arnold's relationship with Gores, whose father is Arnold's Beverly Hills neighbor, this saccharine swamp of believe-in-yourself cliches is studded with celebrity cameos: Even Governor Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis stop by the "premiere" (an invitation-only private screening) of "Two Spies." It's not funny or truly barbed or genuinely inspirational: Let's face it, the "kid" doesn't actually want to find lost animals or get drugs off the street; he wants to pretend he's helping people while wearing obscenely expensive sunglasses and indulging his fantasy because his daddy has deep pockets. No matter how you parse it, the film is a bizarre muddle.
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- Released: 2005
- Rating: PG-13
- Review: Either the most inept vanity production ever made or the most deadpan satirical prank ever pulled, this self-reflexive look at Hollywood insincerity, maudlin inspirational claptrap and price-is-no-object parenting stars and was written by B-list staple Tom… (more)