Hit and Runway Movie Review

Attention all screenwriters! I have discovered the perfect masturbation material for all you wannabe Joe Eszterhases and Michael Crichtons in the world: Write a script about two guys writing a script. Make sure each of the characters initially will not like each other based upon general stereotypical foundations - such as a black man and a guy from the South, or an Italian guy and a gay Jew. Toss in those standard and predictable dramatic and comedic elements, include a bookworm girl with glasses for the romantic interest, and always remember, keep it as light as non-fat whipped cream.

Just from the press book, Hit and Runway had the smell of a misguided idea. A gay, Jewish man and a straight, masculine Italian guy join pen and prose together to write the perfect movie script for action superstar Jagger Stevens. The Italian guy is homophobic and doesn't understand the meaning of irony. The Jewish guy is Woody Allen's lost twin brother who berates everything and everyone around him with "witty" Allen-esque dialogue. It's a quirky romantic comedy about a straight man and a gay man coming to terms with each other's personal identities and dreams and learning to love, and yadda yadda yadda...

All I can ask is, who the hell would name their kid Jagger Stevens?

Alex (Michael Parducci), the hulking Italian knucklehead, has big dreams of writing a hit Hollywood movie and leaving behind his family café and a life of washing dishes. Elliot (Peter Jacobson) is a struggling gay playwright (aren't all playwrights struggling?) in love with a waiter (Kerr Smith) who works at Alex's café. When Alex pitches a film about a New York cop working undercover as a fashion model starring Jagger Stevens (Hoyt Richards) to a family relative, he gets the opportunity to write his blockbuster script. Without any knowledge of the proper prose for action stars, he enlists the help of Elliot in exchange for setting up a date with the waiter. And then the trouble starts.

After this initial introduction, the movie ends up falling flat on its keyboard. The quirkiness becomes trivial through the blatant stereotyping of each character and his motivation. The acting is boring and plods along to its own pathetic beat. The endless talks of striving for your dreams and never giving into your own self-doubts play out like an infomercial for a hair-replacement product. The script is stale, the acting is sub-par and misguided, and the cinematography is on par with a Turkish sitcom.

Watching the film, it's obvious that someone tried to make something decent out of this mess. Hit and Runway needed a second or third opinion in its final execution instead of letting its maker hold those strings. By the end, I felt cheated and let down by the abrupt tone of the finale. It's as if the main characters sold themselves on the cheap. Instead of fighting for their integrity, they relinquish their ideals for the cheap, wind-up toys of fame and recognition.

On the run as they type.


Hit and Runway Rating

" Grim "

Rating: R, 1999


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