The best stretch of Ellie Parker hits early, as the title character, a struggling actress played by Naomi Watts, motors from one tryout to another, changing clothes in transit and seamlessly blending the bad comedy of her own life with the bad drama she’s auditioning for. Watts, whose memorable audition scene in Mulholland Drive launched her into stardom, makes a glorious mess of herself playing her karmic opposite. Her daily challenges (”Let’s see who can cry first,” she goads a fellow thesp) carry existentially low stakes — success isn’t just distant, it’s inconceivable. See, Ellie’s determined to Be Someone in Particular, a tall order for someone whose ”career” is based on her tendency toward nonspecificity. But the movie suffers from a similar dilemma. Writer-director-costar Scott Coffey, a tart comic mind who should cast his net farther from the 405, pads his story with more and more familiar degradations, and Watts plays each one to the hilt. (The Chevy Chase cameo is priceless.) But he can’t disguise the flick’s origins as a cynical Sundance short. Showbiz self-loathing is trading up with Extras and Entourage, but it’s still best administered in TV-size drams.
(Ellie Parker: Blair Mastbaum)
Starring: Naomi Watts; Starring: Chevy Chase, Scott Coffey; Director: Scott Coffey; Author: Scott Coffey; Release Date Limited: 11/11/2005; Runtime (in minutes): 95; MPAA Rating: Unrated; Distributor: Strand Releasing
Posted November 16 2005 — 12:00 AM EST
- Barack Obama slams Donald Trump at DNC: 'We don’t look to be ruled'
- 'Con Man': Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion want a ‘Spectrum’ movie
- See President Obama's DNC intro video, narrated by Bryan Cranston
- Michael Keaton on 'Beetlejuice' sequel: 'It's possible that ship has sailed'
- 'Another Period' guest blog: Natasha Leggero, Riki Lindhome on latest episode
- 'Barely Famous': Sara, Erin Foster on celebrity stalkers, TV industry
- Lenny Kravitz asks to 'Let Love Rule' for DNC performance
- 'Planet of the Apes': See the Famous Faces Behind the Makeup
- Toronto Film Festival 2016: See First Look Images From This Year's Lineup
- 'One Tree Hill': Where Are They Now?
- 'Little Miss Sunshine': Where Are They Now?
- 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child': 22 Magical Photos
- Comic-Con 2016: Celebs at the Biggest Day 4 Panels