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DVD Review: Authors Anonymous

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Authors Anonymous


Casting director Ellie Kanner takes a stab at feature-length film directing in a comedy that is a little bit pretentious, a little bit insightful, and a little bit ridiculous. All of these things are good, though, because it is simply embracing its subject matter: the secret, often-times lonely, sometimes difficult, and almost always cut-throat world of would-be novelists. Kaley (8 Simple Rules, The Big Bang Theory) Cuoco and Chris (the American Pie series, Wilfred) Klein lead an all-star cast of misfits and comedians who are all perfectly cast (which should come as no surprise when you consider the director's previous line of work). The problem, however, is that the genre itself is restricting. Presenting itself as a documentary, it seems to fall flat in a couple of places, whether it be due to boring exposition to move the plot along and justify the next interview or simply glitches in the script that make no sense for a cameraman to be present during.

Teri (the Meet the Parents series, Law & Order: L. A.) Polo shines as the films primary antagonist, a jealous, no-talent hack who lives off her clueless husband who is willing to indulge her every fantasy. Said husband is expertly played by Dylan (Nip/Tuck, Congo) Walsh, who adds a necessary bit of pathetic to the already larger-than-life cast. Rounding out the writers group cast is Jonathan (Van Wilder: Freshman Year, Mean Girls) Bennett as the jerk, Dennis (Law & Order, Saving Private Ryan) Farina as the grumpy old fart, and Jonathan (Breaking Bad, Community) Banks as the sought-after literary hookup. The cast is perfect, and each character is played perfectly, but the problem is not the acting or even the script itself.

It is the delivery of the director. Perhaps a few more films under her belt will help, or maybe this one was just doomed to mediocrity from the beginning due to its restricting gimmick. But where this mockumentary fails, it also is worth noting that it succeeds in depicting several aspects of the lives of writers everywhere. Yes, most of these are over-the-top caricatures, but there is quite a bit of truth to each and every flaw in all of these people who want nothing more than to be heard, read, and remembered. The laughs are there for writers, but this one might be a pass for everyone else.