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pipe dream

Pipe Dream

Starring Martin Donovan and Mary-Louise Parker; Rebecca Gayheart, Kevin Carroll
Screenplay by John C. Walsh and Cynthia Kaplan
Directed by John C. Walsh
no website

IN SHORT: strictly arthouse. [Rated R for a sex scene. 91 minutes]

There are many genres of movies but, as far as the industry goes, there are only two kinds. Studio and Independent. One gets the bucks and the other fights like a hungry dog for every dollar it can get its hand on. Pipe Dream, were it a big studio film presented to us with the same script, would have gone down in flames. As an Independent, in comparison to all the other indieflicks we've sat through over the years, it is a well made indieflick in need of some trims and a more chemistry between its stars.

That means if your preference is to the art house over the commercial cineplexes, you'll like it.

Pipe Dream has all the feel of the lighthearted romantic comedies that, say, Cary Grant used to make back in the days when the film stock was all black and white. Good looking guy. Mistaken identity. Love results. In this case, the guy is David Kulovic (Martin Donovan), a plumber who can't get a good date because, well, he's a plumber. Even when his neighbor across the hall nails him for a great one night stand, well, he's a plumber.She's Toni Edelman (Mary-Louise Parker), a maker of industrial videos who has written a screenplay that would make a great movie, except that no one wants to make it.

That isn't David's problem. He wants dates. With the aid of lifelong friend, a casting director named RJ Martlin (Kevin Carroll), David is passed off as "David Coppolberg," director of an indieflick that doesn't exist. It doesn't exist because there isn't a script and, to make a long story short, eventually Toni's screenplay becomes the working project. She doesn't know about it. He doesn't know about directing. But the acting community likes the few pages that it has seen and there is a buzz and, all of a sudden, millions of dollars are being waved around and the production, now called "Pipe Dream" is a go. Thanks to technology, Toni passes along instructions to David via a headset.

Of course, that means that somewhere along the line the headset gimmick will fail. Smartly, that isn't the center of the gig, which is David's infatuation with the unknown actress, Marliss Funt (Rebecca Gayheart) cast to star in the film over big indie star Marina Peck (Jill Hennessy). This decision sparks the interest of a couple of big name agent types, and that digression is where Pipe Dream shoots itself in the foot by losing sight of the bigger picture (so to speak), the love story. This needless subplot slows the already deliberately paced story down to a crawl and may have kept writer/director John C. Walsh from missing the obvious -- Parker and Donovan don't spark. We don't know if a lack of natural chemistry can be fixed by a direction, but the time needed to be taken to make the point.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Pipe Dream, he would have paid . . .


...which is our wait for it to hit pay per view level. That may take a while. If your preference is to the arthouse, what we said up top still applies.

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