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if lucy fell If Lucy Fell
Starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Eric Schaeffer, and Ben Stiller
Written and Directed by Eric Schaeffer

Lucy Ackerman (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Joe McGaunaughil (Eric Schaeffer) are pushing 30. She's a working therapist [psychologist?] with a rich Dad who wants her in Harvard Med, so she can take over his clinic. He's a painter who hasn't had sex in five years, because he's been obsessing about Jane (Elle Macpherson). Jane lives across the alley and serves as the inspiration for all Joes's paintings. Together, they want to open a private school, despite the fact that he only teaches part time and she doesn't want to ask her dad for the money they need.

When they were "young" Lucy and Joe made a Death Pact. If they weren't in individually satisfying, happily familial portending relationships by the time Lucy hit 30 ( cuz they're "just friends"), they would kill themselves. Well, that's a month away and a big painted calendar on the wall is counting down the days to their appointment with the Brooklyn Bridge.

Those of us who have already hit the big Three-Oh know the feeling. It's a promising start for a movie but, in the meantime, the characters sit around and talk to each other. A lot. Sometimes they talk to themselves. Out loud. A lot. Lucy vows to date "anyone" who asks her out. Joe vows to talk to Jane, but acts more like a stalker. They talk about bodily functions. Into the mix comes a very successful pop art painter named Bwick, wearing dreadlocks and castoffs from The Artist Formerly Known As Prince. The character is too bizarre to be believed, and is portrayed, appropriately, by the very funny Ben Stiller. His attempts to court Lucy, and her reactions, are intentionally artistic and bizarre.

Sarah Jessica Parker as Lucy, for all the neuroses inherent in her character, brings new meaning to the phrase "Doctor Heal Thyself." She plays straight man to the antics of Bwick and goes line for line with the rat-tat-tatterings of roommate Joe. Her character sets a stage and lets the men overact.

Eric Schaeffer wrote and directed If Lucy Fell and had the bad sense to cast himself as star of the thing. If he had passed on the latter, he probably would have had the time to concentrate on his directing which is collegiate-level, full of mismatched shots.

As for the script, it's a mess of regurgitory expository, recap and reenactment which cameos by Mujibar and Sirajul (as seen on David Letterman) can't save. Granted, there are occasional bits of very funny ideas that surface, but the joke is funny only the first time you hear it. Not the third.

I agree with the general negative consensus of those Crankified after the show. "It's not good when you can see the story coming waaaay in advance" and "The last 20 minutes, I wished they would jump" are representative of the Gen X target audience, and an older couple wished that the characters had been more sympathetic. Not even nostalgia works here.

Cranky doesn't make comparisons, but the audience is free to. Which is where the only positive comment comes in: "It was better than The Juror." Make of it what you will.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price for If Lucy Fell, he would have paid . . .

$2.00

Cuz even if I waited for the three dollar rental, I'd still be fast forwarding my brains out when the tape got into the machine.

Click to buy films by Eric Schaeffer
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Click to buy films starring Ben Stiller

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