Foreign Matter—the movie

Toby travels with a woman who pays. He's got it made, except that her nine-year-old daughter is smarter than he is.  Set in Greece and based on the novel:

   

“A very, very funny book"—The West Coast Review of Books 
“Enormously enjoyable”—Kirkus Reviews 
“Fresh and spirited”—Publishers Weekly

Think of:


Toby Tucker gets along as a tour guide, though all he knows how to do is keep the clients amused. 

In Venice he falls for rich bubble-head Marcie but can't afford her style.  "To-bee!  Let's just live on my money!"  Well—it’s awkward but what can one say?  He reclines into the good life.

Marcie Harding, sweet, fresh, blonder than blonde and all heart, is a lonely widow who takes a tour in Venice.    Toby abandons the tour to take her to Rome, and when he runs out of cash is about to abandon her.  He loves her more than he knows.
But for Andrea, things would be perfect.  "The child."  Toby and Marcie are no smarter than anybody else; the child is smarter than anybody else.  She'd have got rid of him long ago but her mommy loves him, so she keeps him around to, how shall I say, play with.  When you’re not looking she rotates her head like Linda Blair.
Marcie’s father-in-law, billionaire Hazelton Turnbull “Hard Turd” Harding IV, loathes Toby, and loathes giving Marcie her allowance to feed him.  But he loves his little granddaughter, and there lies the control.
When Haze spends Marcie’s money on a painting for the Harding Memorial Museum it looks like Toby's meal ticket is gone.

Proposed: Catherine Tate
Johna Nerg is the butch-nightmare artist whose painting Toby accidentally steps in, sits in and sets on fire.  He really doesn't mean it but she thinks, as who does not, that he's trying to destroy it—and gets real mean with him.
 
He has no choice, finally, but to try to steal it.  But until the child takes a hand, nothing works.

Foreign Matter is part of the Toby series: 
Pretentious Pictures presents a summer comedy. 
 

CHOCOLATE AND CHAMPAGNE, a comedy in the spirit of Lubitsch

Reg’d © Library of Congress
A Beverly Hills woman wakes up middle-aged and finds her life with a younger man undignified.

The stage version was performed in New York at the Creative Place Theatre.  Think of...

...only this is her movie, and she gets the younger guy.

Diana, a woman of a certain age, deals with a birthday by throwing out her younger live-in Jim.

They're right for each other, and she regrets it immediately, but she can't take him back: her daughter Jackie, who idolizes and competes with her, tells her Jim has seduced her, and Diana believes it.


So she makes do with the respectable but empty new life she'd thought she needed—with older lawyer Griff.


Jim gives a driving lesson to frantic neurotic Betsy, who almost shoots them off a cliff.  He calms her down and she takes him home. But he can't forget Diana.


Proposed cast: Barbara Hershey (Diana)

DIANA, the Hamlet at the heart of this comedy, is a clothes designer with a boutique on Rodeo Drive, a house in Beverly Hills, and a younger lover, Jim, her kept man for two years now. There’s nothing she can’t handle—except getting older.


Proposed cast: Gael García Bernal (Jim)

JIM is happy with a champagne-and-sports-car life, but he’s also a talented script-writer who’s postponing seriousness into a future that never comes.  Together they’re fast company.  They must have been brilliant at her birthday party last night.

This morning, though, even while he’s making love to her, she’s spooked.  She tells him he has to go.  She wants something more presentable, more—respectable—before it’s too late.

Which shocks him.  He takes life as it comes, but this is a bit violent.


Proposed cast: Kathy Bates (Betsy) 
BETSY, the suicidal widow of a husband she drove to suicide, is too scattered to pass a driving test, takes a lesson with Jim, spins the    car onto a Mulholland Drive cliff and is ready to gun it and take him with her.


Proposed cast: John Goodman (Griff)
 
Diana's lawyer GRIFF, more her age and on her success level, has been in love with her for years.  Now’s his chance.  When Jackie tells Diana the lie that Jim has seduced her Diana gives up on Jim and tries to make a go of it with Griff.


Proposed cast: Adelaide Clemens (Jackie)
 
JACKIE, Diana’s daughter, idolizes her and so misses no chance to pick at and defy her.  Inwardly shaky, she is outwardly impish and sexy.  She thinks she’s in love with Jim; in fact what she needs is a father.


Proposed cast: Jack Roth (Dylan) 


Betsy's son DYLAN—eccentric hair, psychotic eyes, twitches constantly and rhythmically as if keeping time to music he doesn’t much enjoy—is in the same class at UCLA with Jackie, over whom he moans uncontrollably.  He disgusts her.


Proposed cast: Rosie Perez (Maria)
 
MARIA, Diana's housekeeper, is the deadpan foil to Diana's Hamlet, secret ally to Jim, and the one person Diana doesn't dare defy.


Proposed cast: Stockard Channing (Gwen)
GWEN is Diana's mischievous best friend and alter-ego.  She'll take Jim if Diana doesn't want him!  Just kidding.  In an attempt to bring them back together she throws a party and invites both of them, but it turns into a confrontation....


And the final character is Beverly Hills—
 
—the tone, the climate, the village size and ambiance that make it inevitable for these people to collide. 


The stage version of Chocolate and Champagne was produced by Love Creek  at the Creative Place Theatre in New York.


Pretentious Pictures presents a comedy with a dark center.

Reg’d © Library of Congress

Nifty quotes from Mortal Coil

What is life, anyway, but a lingering feeling of guilt? Might as well enjoy it! 

Don’t worry about photographs of yourself. You don’t look like that.

He thinks she farts fairy dust, and so does she.

“I thought you were going to change!” “Well, I’m still me.” I sighed inwardly. Still me.

She made a little swoon as if I already had her in the bowling grip and Mae-West-walked away.

The head tells you it’s all random, the heart tells you it’s not and the generator is too busy to think about it.

We are caught between the ding and the dong of the dialectic, ambivalence the very law of life, for it is inherent in this system, in this particular system, that there is no system, inconsistency is a principle of the system, each new formula a liberation from the last, everybody’s got something to sell, and it’s nice, oh, it’s so nice when we find something we can stay with for a while—Nabokov, Letterman, Crest—but we move on, we move on, upping the ante with each success, with each defeat, it doesn’t matter, put in on this number, stabilize here, but on we go, grabbing at an illumination that can only come when we have exhausted everything, though we never do, we know we never will, it’s all there to keep us moving, keep us interested, distract us perhaps, from the crushing conviction that God in his Infinite Boredom broke himself into a trillion us just to have somebody to talk to!

But this too is a contortion, life is a series of contortions, pushing us into every possible position, having us every way it can think of, and even when we lie there, sated and sore, we are still sealed in, still have no clue what’s next, our ignorance so seamless as to suggest a law in ambush, another law, the corollary to The Law, inscribed in stone over the exit sign: YOU DON’T KNOW SQUAT!

What did I do, she wanted to know.
I told her I was an artist.
Oh, how interesting, what kind?
Conceptual stuff.
What was it, painting? Sculpture?
It wasn’t much of anything, I told her. I was a minimalist who had arrived at the supreme elegance of statement. I just didn’t do it!
She ambushed me on my way back from the toilet and held me against the wall by the love handles. I was too stunned to protest!

That other incarnation that is living in the south

“Of course money can’t buy happiness,” she reminded me.
“Not unless you know where to shop.”

She touched her chin to her shoulder in a way that suggested I might as well throw my chops on her right now. Just walk right up and achieve bliss. It would, her look said, be a bun-clenching experience.

A stooped elderly man came over and spoke to me. “Are you Delmore Danruther?”
“Sort of,” I said.
“I’m Walter Dadd. This is my crematorium.”
“Oh,” I said. “Gee. I’m sorry.”
Fire trucks were pulling in.

Nadine could put you back together if you swallowed depth charge.

Short-listed for the London Observer's PG Wodehouse Comic Novel Prize; stage version at Samuel French.

"A first-rate contemporary farce, one of the hardest - if not THE hardest genre to pull off. I look forward to seeing the movie."—J. Maas, Amazon


Pretentious Pictures Presents:

CHOCOLATE AND CHAMPAGNE
A comedy with a dark center

A Beverly Hills woman wakes up "older" and finds her life with a younger man undignified. The stage version was produced in at the Creative Place Theatre in NYC.


Proposed: Dame Emma


Diana, the Hamlet at the heart of this comedy, is a clothes designer with a boutique on Rodeo Drive, a house in Beverly Hills, and a younger lover, Jim, her kept man for two years now. There’s nothing she can’t handle—except getting older.

She deals with a birthday by throwing him out. They're right for each other, she regrets it immediately, but she can't take him back, because her daughter Jackie, who idolizes and competes with her, tells her Jim has seduced her, and Diana believes it.

Proposed: Sir Kenneth


So she makes do with the respectable but empty life she'd thought she needed, with her lawyer Griff—more her age, and on her success level. Griff has been in love with her for years. Now’s his chance.

Proposed: Gael García Bernal


Jim is happy with a champagne-and-sports-car life, but he’s also a talented script-writer who’s postponing seriousness into a future that never comes. Together they’re fast company. They must have been brilliant at her birthday party last night.

This morning, though, even while he’s making love to her, she’s spooked. She tells him he has to go. She wants something more presentable, more—respectable—before it’s too late. Which shocks him. He takes life as it comes, but this is a bit violent.

Proposed: Jennifer Coolidge


Betsy, the suicidal widow of a husband she drove to suicide, is too scattered to pass a driving test, takes a lesson with Jim, spins the car onto a Mulholland Drive cliff and is ready to gun it and take him with her. He calms her down and she takes him home. But he can't forget Diana.

Proposed: Adelaide Clemens


Jackie, Diana’s daughter, idolizes her and so misses no chance to pick at and defy her. Inwardly shaky, she is outwardly impish and sexy. She thinks she’s in love with Jim; in fact what she needs is a father.

Proposed: Owen Teague


Betsy's son Dylan—eccentric hair, psychotic eyes, twitches constantly and rhythmically as if keeping time to music he doesn’t much enjoy—is in the same class at UCLA with Jackie, over whom he moans uncontrollably. He disgusts her.

Proposed: Rosie Perez 


Maria, Diana's housekeeper, is the deadpan foil to Diana's Hamlet, secret ally to Jim, and the one person Diana doesn't dare defy.

Proposed: Amy Brenneman


GWEN is Diana's mischievous best friend and alter-ego. She'll take Jim if Diana doesn't want him! Just kidding. In an attempt to bring them back together she throws a party and invites both of them, but it turns into a confrontation....

And the final character is Beverly Hills—the tone, the climate, the village size and ambiance that make it inevitable for these people to collide.


















Pretentious pictures presents
a comedy with a dark center.