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By Martin Yewchuk

GENRE: Comedy

A megalomaniac Hollywood film producer believes that dying in one of his own movies is the only way to achieve the fame and immortality he desperately craves, and there are those who'd like to see him succeed!


A dark comedy about Larry Starkey, Hollywood movie producer of Starman Pictures, who makes films that make money, but do not earn Larry the prestige and fame that he desperately craves. To characterize Larry as egotistical is a gross understatement. He is his ego. He is, by his own words, "The best actor not acting today!" and "The best producer alive who has not won a Best Picture Oscar!" He is the center of the Universe and everything and everyone is here to serve his mission: to recognize him for how great he is!

Larry has been battling his way through Hollywood in pursuit of fame and recognition and has gotten to the point where he is ready to take matters into his own hands.

He has worn out his welcome in Hollywood. Industry people are tired of putting up with his lies, charades and manipulative actions and only tolerated Larry because of his partner, Buddy O'Neal, whom everyone adored. Buddy's dead. Now, nobody wants to put up money to help Larry make his movies and this leaves him feeling vulnerable and vengeful.

Larry's marriage to his trophy wife, Monika, is in shambles; they scrap over breakfast as to how to best handle the bullying their son is enduring at school and Larry's decision to put the house on the market to finance his latest movie project. Larry sleeps on the couch or out by the pool. His son, Little Larry, idolizes famous actors and classic movies; not the movies Larry makes. The one person in this world Larry can count on is Dunkin; who is more than just a limo driver. He takes care of Mr. Larry. Dunkin is the only person Larry can fully trust to look out for him and put up with him!

The story begins at the Golden Globes with Larry causing chaos and discord as usual. He upsets everyone he comes in contact with, making crude and vial remarks, getting into a fistfight after making lewd comments to a woman; "I'm a star, and when you're a star you can do whatever you want!" Dunkin provides the fists while Larry provides the lip and the guests who are witness to the altercation are just happy to see Larry escorted out of there!

The following day, Larry is the target of a protestor's attack on him for portraying too much violence in his movies. He and Dunkin survive mostly unscathed, and find out later that a video of the attack, shot from a nearby Hollywood Bus Tour, has made Larry an action star, causing him to remark: "If only someone had tried to kill me years ago!"

The realization that a near death experience has brought him a massive amount of admiration, attention and fame starts to formulate into an action plan for Larry. His life is a mess and he figures his only way to immortality is to go out with a bang! At the press conference for his next movie project, Larry announces he will act in the movie and do his own stunts, alongside Bruce Willis! This brings a lot of derision and disbelief from the press and his own people until he shares his plan with the only person he can trust to help him go through with it, Dunkin. The plan is to die during a stunt in the movie while breaking a world record on a day when nobody else famous has died, so that he will be remembered and celebrated in perpetuity.

At the midpoint of the movie, Larry has his date with death. The plan is to break the world record for a boat jump just like in the James Bond movie "Live And Let Die" and then blow up. He completes the jump, along with stuntwoman Rosie Rose, but they do not explode into a ball of flames. During the celebration Larry and Dunkin are confused; "We did it! We did it! Hey? Why didn't we blow up?" Kaboom! The spare stunt boat explodes in the background!

Undaunted, they plan to kill Larry off during a car chase scene, only to experience complications at the last moment when they are informed that Warren Beatty has died; he would not be a person Larry would want to share his death day with. Larry aims to avoid getting killed in the ensuing car chase, only to face a real threat from the protestors that tried to get him outside his house; somehow they get onto the set to try to finish him off!

Larry's lack of fear of dying has inadvertently made him a great actor/stuntman. The problem is he is running out of money to finish the film; he never thought he would live this long! Larry's assistant, Milo, finds money from an "Angel Investor" presumed to be Monika. Milo and Monika see the crazy risks Larry is taking and wish for him to continue, because if he dies or is incapacitated they will take over Starman Pictures. So, they encourage Larry, in a not so subtle fashion, to continue putting himself in danger.

A hostage situation that is "sure" to end in Larry's death does not go as planned, at least from Larry's perspective. He lives another day, but has a nervous breakdown from constantly getting prepared to die and it not coming to fruition. Rosie takes Larry home, as he really has nowhere else to turn. After resting and realizing he may just have to accept the prospect of living, Larry realizes that Dunkin has been foiling his plans all along! The one person he could trust has been saving him from himself! Larry is truly loved and cherished by at least one other human being. Rosie tries to enlighten Larry to the fact he is loved and there is nothing he needs to "do" to receive that love. He just needs to love himself. She and Dunkin also reveal that everyone loves the movie and he may be up for a Best Actor nomination!

The final stunt for the movie is set and it is hilarious to see Larry trying to pull it off. Gone is the confident devil-may-care macho stuntman, replaced by a scaredy-cat who is afraid of falling. He bungles the stunt endlessly and is glad to escape with his life.

Larry is a changed man; he wants to live! He has come a long way (for him) and is ready to change his ways. The characters who have accompanied him along this journey have pretty much played their parts consistently all the way through: Dunkin as the trusted friend, who kept Larry from destroying himself, Monika as the self absorbed wife, who refuses to put up with Larry's garbage, no matter the outcome, Milo as the loyal servant, but whom always puts his own needs first and foremost, Rosie as the Yin to Larry's over developed Yang, demonstrating by words and actions how love and compassion for others is not a weakness, but a true strength.

Larry's last act on Earth is to try to save his son's cat from getting run over. Larry pays the price with his own life, just when he began to make a real commitment to living.

Heidi Schussman

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