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
- 'Scream' postmortem: The killer speaks out!
- 'Scream' postmortem: The killer revealed! What's next?
- Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner sues Hasbro over same-named toy hamster
- Casting Net: Scott Eastwood set to become action star in 'Overdrive'
- 'Scream' honors Wes Craven during finale
- Ellen Page says her 'Freeheld' role inspired her to come out
- 'Brides of Dracula' series from 'Arrow' producer gets NBC pilot commitment
- All the VMAs 2015 performances graded
- VMAs 2015 Red Carpet: See All the Looks!
- 16 TV characters who stuck around longer than expected
- Behind Lady Gaga's killer look in 'American Horror Story: Hotel'
- 'American Horror Story: Hotel' First Look: 11 EW exclusive photos
- Victoria Justice, Andrew & Laura, Rihanna and More!