[Screen It]


(2002) (Blair Underwood, Julia Roberts) (R)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Heavy Minor Heavy None None
Mild None None None Extreme
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Extreme Minor Mild Mild Minor

Drama: Various people in and around the Hollywood scene get on with their lives and prepare for a party in this story where reality is not what it always seems.
In a movie where things aren't always what they initially seem to be, Calvin Cummings (BLAIR UNDERWOOD) and Francesca Davis (JULIA ROBERTS) are two Hollywood stars appearing in a film where they play Nicholas, an actor, and Catherine, the reporter who's following him around.

The film is apparently written by Carl Bright (DAVID HYDE PIERCE), a magazine editor, and Arty Dean (ENRICO COLANTONI), a theater producer who's putting on a stage show, "The Sound and the Fuhrer," with a pretentious actor (NICKY KATT) playing Hitler. Carl's wife, Lee (CATHERINE KEENER), is a V.P. of human resources who hates her marriage, job and life, and constantly belittles her sister, Linda (MARY McCORMACK). She's a masseuse whose client list includes Gus (DAVID DUCHOVNY), a Hollywood producer who wants something more than just a massage from her.

As the day and then evening wears on and many of the players prepare for a party thrown by Gus, their various stories and lives intersect.

Unless they're fans of someone in the cast or the works of director Steven Soderbergh ("Erin Brockovich," "Traffic"), it doesn't seem very likely.
For language and some sexual content.
Some of the characters listed below turn out to be just characters in the movie with the movie. BLAIR UNDERWOOD plays an actor who plays a character in a film. He uses strong profanity and has sex with Lee.
  • JULIA ROBERTS plays an actress who plays a reporter in the film she's shooting. She uses some strong profanity.
  • DAVID HYDE PIERCE plays a magazine editor who uses strong profanity, talks about porno with his female coworker, and apparently gets high with another woman.
  • CATHERINE KEENER plays a V.P. of human resources who asks improper questions of workers during interviews, has an affair with Calvin, and wants to leave Carl. She uses strong profanity and is drunk in one scene.
  • MARY McCORMACK plays a masseuse who's looking for a long-term relationship (and thinks she might have found it on the Internet), performs some sort of sexual act for a client for extra money (and then steals some from him) and uses some strong profanity.
  • NICKY KATT plays a self-absorbed and demanding actor who's playing Hitler in Arty's play. He uses strong profanity and smokes.
  • ENRICO COLANTONI plays a theater producer trying to put on a play about Hitler while also corresponding with a woman he's met on the Internet.
  • DAVID DUCHOVNY plays a producer who offers to pay Linda, his masseuse, extra money if she'll perform a sexual act on him.


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.

    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).

    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated drama. Profanity consists of at least 47 uses of the "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also used. Sexually related dialogue is also present, while an out of focus sexual encounter also occurs and a woman apparently manually stimulates a man to orgasm off camera. Meanwhile, a visit to an adult novelty store shows various sex toys and other related paraphernalia, and what looks like nonsexual full frontal male nudity is briefly seen.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes (including a wife who cheats on her husband and wants a divorce), while some smoke, drink (one to the point of being intoxicated) or presumably eat hash-laced brownies (and consequently act high).

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

  • Lee asks an employee if he's ever been caught driving under the influence (he replies under the influence of what).
  • Carl's boss asks whether he drinks beer from a bottle he's taken from the fridge or if he drinks it from a glass (he says he does the latter).
  • Carl has a beer.
  • Carl sees that his dog has eaten his and Lee's hash brownies (the dog turns out to be okay). The vet (Heather) who arrives on the scene chastises him for a moment, and then talks that it's been years since she smoked any. She then asks if he's going to throw out the remaining brownies (as if she wants them if he's going to). Later, both of them appear somewhat high.
  • Various people have drinks over the course of a party, including Lee who states she needs one. She later appears somewhat drunk.
  • Arty asks a man if he wants to go and get a beer, but the man declines the offer.
  • A person has a beer during the end credits.
  • We see a man standing at a urinal, but don't see anything, while a co-worker is in a nearby stall (we don't see anything, but do hear him straining and then a brief farting sound).
  • An actor goes on a tirade about drinking blood (but we don't see him doing that).
  • We see a dead man who apparently asphyxiated himself with a bag over his head (but beyond being dead, there's no blood or gore).
  • Some could view Carl talking with a female work associate about porno films and the like as sexual harassment (especially after she then says they shouldn't be "talking like this" since she met someone else).
  • Lee, the V.P. of Human Resources at her company, asks various workers incriminating and improper questions during various interviews. She also cheats on Carl with Calvin, and speaks her mind without filtering any meanness from what she says (such as belittling a gift that Linda gave her).
  • The actor playing Hitler in Arty's play has a bad and condescending attitude toward Arty.
  • After reluctantly performing some sort of sexual act for a client, Linda steals money from his bag and then acts upset that he doesn't have the money he promised her for that act.
  • None.
  • None.
  • Phrases: "What the f*ck?" "I'm really f*cking worried," "What a great f*cking idea," "I think it's f*cking hysterical," "Abso-f*cking-lutely," "(I'm) f*cked up," "Give me a f*cking break," "Let's f*cking go," "F*cking move it," "F*ckers," "People are so f*cking petty," "You're f*cked," "This is bullsh*t," "I don't give a sh*t," "Like the back of my big 10-inch" (dialogue an actor says in a movie), "Pissed," "Sucks," "What an asshole" and "Chick" (woman).
  • A miscellaneous man has various tattoos and another character has one on his leg.
  • Carl tells people that their porn names are made up of their middle name and the name of the street where they grew up.
  • None.
  • None.
  • None.
  • At least 47 "f" words (1 used sexually, 1 used with "mother"), 7 "s" words, 2 slang terms using male genitals ("c*ck"), 4 asses (2 used with "hole"), 3 damns, 9 uses of "Oh my God," 8 of "God," 7 of "Jesus," 3 of "Oh God" and 1 use each of "G-damn," "Christ" and "For God's sakes" as exclamations.
  • An onscreen title presented when introducing Calvin states that he thinks there's no such thing as bad sex.
  • We see part of the side of a woman's bare breast as she sleeps topless while lying on her stomach (the rest of her is under the covers). A man there kisses her shoulder and side.
  • Carl and Lee are in bed sleeping and we hear her breathing hard and then suddenly jumping (we don't know if she was doing something sexual to cause that to happen).
  • There's a comment made about a robbery at a pornographic bookstore, but we don't see it.
  • Carl talks with a female work associate about the disparity between prostitution being illegal and appearing in a porno movie being legal. More related talk follows about why someone is into porn (needing the money or being an exhibitionist), and he then says that one can't pretend they're having sex with someone when you're actually having sex with them. The woman then talks about such actors enjoying themselves and then says that porn films are "made to turn you on" and adds that there's nothing deeper than that. This woman then says that they shouldn't be talking like this since she met someone.
  • We see a man crawling down a hotel hallway in his boxers and T-shirt.
  • After laying off a worker, Lee asks if he's involved with anyone and then tells him to put a chair in front of her door. While that seems like it might lead to an affair between them, it turns out to have nothing to do with sex.
  • Carl tells people that their porn names are made up of their middle name and the name of the street where they grew up.
  • Brad Pitt, playing a part in a movie, says the line, "Like the back of my big 10-inch."
  • As we hear Carl's voice talking about a non-related subject in a different location, we see Calvin going to visit Lee who answers the door in just a robe. We then see an extremely out of focus view (shot through some sort of opening) of the two of them having sex (thus we can tell what's happening, such as her losing the robe, but can't see any details). During this, we see some fuzzy movement and hear some related sounds, and then see them caressing after sex (back in focus), but she then gets mad at him and says, "Go f*ck somebody else."
  • Linda gives a man a full body massage in his hotel room. When she has him role over onto his back, we see that he has an obvious erection under the sheet covering the lower half of his body. He asks what her philosophy is about "release," and she replies that she knows where he's going with that and doesn't want to participate. He then offers additional money for that (either manually or orally stimulating him) and says that it will only take 30 seconds. She then asks, "You can come in 30 seconds?" He then offers to pay her $500, she says it's crazy, but then agrees with the stipulation that he can't make any noise, grunt, etc. He then fakes a sound, she says that's too much and is prepared to leave, but he promises to be quiet. We then see an onscreen title that reads "40 seconds later" and see her somewhat disgustingly washing her hands in the bathroom. Later, she gets a gift from him with a thank you card that ends with "Thanks for a happy ending."
  • Lee, doing her human resources job, asks a worker if she finds her attractive (the woman says yes, but isn't sure how to take the question).
  • Lee visits an adult novelty store where we see many dildos and other sexual paraphernalia.
  • We see a German hooker in the Hitler play, while the actor playing Hitler later puts some powder down the front of his pants.
  • Nicholas kisses Catherine.
  • More comments are made about porn names, and one man jokingly states that his last name would be "Huge-c*ck."
  • We see what looks like brief full frontal nudity of a dead man (at least the pubic hair) who apparently asphyxiated himself with a bag over his head.
  • Carl tells someone about him telling Lee that maybe they should tape themselves "doing it." She was against it, but then decided to go through with it and went out and bought a sex toy (and he says that it was huge).
  • We see Calvin caressing a woman's bare back in bed (we see part of the side of her bare breast).
  • Lee asks an employee if he's ever been a smoker (among other things), while Calvin and the actor playing Hitler each smoke once, as does a miscellaneous character.
  • Lee leaves Carl a note saying that she wants a divorce (he never reads it) and we then see her having an affair with Calvin.
  • There's some talk of Linda finding her father (presumably dead) in the basement some time in the past.
  • Moviemaking and the fictional worlds created by it.
  • Nicholas/Calvin's statements on being black in Hollywood.
  • Meeting people on the Internet and then agreeing to meet in person.
  • Francesca's assistant is portrayed as stereotypically gay.
  • Lee throws an inflatable ball and purposefully hits Calvin with it.
  • We see a dead man who apparently asphyxiated himself with a bag over his head (but the actual act/death is not seen).

  • Reviewed July 16, 2002 / Posted August 2, 2002

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