Due to script, `Write’ is wrong 

By Jae-Ha Kim
Chicago Sun-Times
September 25, 1998

2 stars

“I’ve got to find a woman who loves me for who I am,” a 30-year-old tour bus driver says.

Sadly for Harold, he has the misfortune of living in Hollywood, where no one loves you for who you are, but rather who you’re represented by.

Just WriteAt least that’s the premise of “Just Write,” a cute but not overly ambitious film that features a cast that’s as likable as its plot is flawed.

Harold (Jeremy Piven) is a garrulous tour guide who spins tales of all the movie stars he loves and adores, especially starlet Amanda Clark (Sherilyn Fenn). He is knowledgeable and enthusiastic, but he also isn’t the type of man that someone set to star opposite Brad Pitt would pay attention to in the real world.

But this isn’t the real world. And to drive that point across, the filmmakers include a cameo by Puck, the obnoxious, scab-picking bike messenger from MTV’s semi-real “Real World” series.

In this fantasy set in the real world, kind-hearted Amanda is drawn to Harold when he clumsily introduces himself to her while she’s eating lunch. The audience can see that she has substance, but all Harold can see is her beauty and his lack thereof.

So when she asks him what he does for a living, he lies and tells her he is a screenwriter who is represented by a high-powered agent.

As it turns out, she is in need of a good writer to flesh out her role in the Brad Pitt movie.

“You really care about the character,” Amanda says of the so-so script. “That makes it work.”

Unfortunately, that’s one of the problems with “Just Write.” You just don’t care about any of the characters.

Few would believe that Harold, with no experience in writing or filmmaking, could rewrite a script in a few days that would be satisfactory to both the film’s star and the producer. And Harold’s father’s advice to him (“Go get drunk – All great writers are drunks”) is both infantile and cliched.

Still, Piven and Fenn are appealing leads, and screenwriter Stan Williamson adeptly captures Hollywood’s sycophantic tendencies.

Upon spotting the reclusive Amanda at her party, the fawning hostess says, “If I knew you were coming, I would’ve sent you an invitation.”

That’s as true as the air kisses that float through the air.

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