Just Write

on September 25, 1998 by Cathy Thompson-Georges
   Not every movie can be a groundbreaking original; sometimes it's enough to take a familiar formula and execute it with wit and charm. "Just Write" is just such a work: The premise is something we've seen a thousand times before, but the film is so likable that we don't mind coming along on the same old ride one more time.
   The lovelorn swain in this outing is Harold ("Grosse Pointe Blank's" Jeremy Piven), a Los Angeles tour-bus driver who loves the glamour of Hollywood Past. Soon he's also in love with rising movie star Amanda Clark (a winning Sherilyn Fenn), whom he meets in a trendy restaurant where the bartender is a good friend of Harold's. Unfortunately, he has given the Amanda the impression that he is an up-and-coming screenwriter instead of a tour operator-the lowest form of life in the eyes of the celebrities they haunt. Now he finds himself the sworn enemy of her playboy boyfriend (Costas Mandylor) and is expected to do a rewrite on her current script.
   Will true love win out? Will a dyed-in-the-wool movie buff use his love of the medium and his common sense to produce a stellar rewrite? Will Amanda be miffed but forgiving when the truth rears its ugly head? No one who has seen a romantic comedy before will need to do much head-scratching over those questions, but it hardly matters. "Just Write" is blessed with a good writer itself, in the person of Stan Williamson; the dialogue is a pleasant mixture of the sweet and the tart. Piven is quite funny in a low-key, boy-next-door way, and audiences can't help but wish Harold well.    Starring Jeremy Piven and Sherilyn Fenn. Directed by Andrew Gallerani. Written by Stan Williamson. Produced by Heath McLaughlin. A Heartland release. Romantic comedy. Rated PG-13 for some sex-related humor. Running time: 142 min.
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