Saturday evening at a special screening at the Lido Theater for the Newport Beach Film Festival
, 'Should've Been Romeo' made its World Premiere to a fully packed audience.
A romantic comedy with a Shakespearean twist gives the film a fresh spin on the classic boy meets girl. In fact boy doesn't meet girl until the end of the film, which makes this unpredictable story more refreshing than ever. The film stars Paul Ben-Victor
, an actor with an impressive resume of such films like True Romance and Daredevil and hit TV series like CSI:NY, Entourage and Curb Your Enthusiasm. However noble his resume might be, you forget that once the film starts as he is dressed in a potato chip costume singing a corny jingle in a Mr. Dippy Potato Chip commercial. Take after take of this commercial sets up his character, Joey, as a neurotic actor whose Strasberg method acting doesn't jell well with the low expectations of his mediocre roles. And the so story begins. What story is this? Is it a tale of an obsessive fan? Nicole, played by Kelly Osbourne who gives a top notch performance in her very first film as a Mr. Dippy groupie. No, it's not about that.
It's not really about romantic relationships at all. It's about family and the meaningful moments in your life that are spawn from those who are closest to you.
Although the all star cast Michael Rapaport (Joey's Agent), Natasha Henstridge (herself), Mary McCormack and Tina Majorino (Casting Agents) gives the film a unique personality, it is Ed Asner who plays Joey's dad Charlie who gives the film its beating heart.
Ed Asner, an exploding firecracker at the age of 83, gives a graceful performance as Joey's aging father who comes to live with him after his own daughter (played by the hilarious Carol Kane) drops him off at her son's (Joey) house so she can go on a Cougar Cruise.
From the moment he comes on screen, Asner works his charm on the audience so that immediately we fall for him. For once, he is the 'Mary' in this film and everyone else is the Rhoda.
Of course this is just the chocolate syrup on the sundae. We still need nuts, whipped cream and a cherry.
The turning point of the film is when two unexpected visitors come to stay with Joey. These visitors turn Joey's life upside down, proving once more that blood is thicker than water. It is this relationship with these visitors that seal the film with a kiss. This heart warming interaction between Joey and a little girl and her young father is what begins to turn Joey's superficial life full of $30,000 paintings and uncomfortable furniture into a crayon-drawings on-the-wall, carefree type of life.
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The film features plenty of laugh out loud original comedy. That's what makes this film so enjoyable to watch. The comedy is not complicated, but not predicatable either. The story is just as strong as the characters, which seems like a rare feat to achieve these days in Hollywood.
Oh and by the way, not to spoil the ending, but Mr. Dippy lives happily ever after. The film is making its rounds at the film festival currently and hopes to see nationwide theatrical release soon. Please visit the Should've Been Romeo IMDB page () for more information.
Tiffany Carter, Santa Ana Movie Examiner
Tiffany has been in love with film ever since she saw the Omen at the age of 4, Who are her parents?! She is currently finishing her bachelor's degree in Screenwriting while residing in Newport Beach, California. Tiffany is senior editor of winetastetravel.com and is also writing a supernatural...