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HOW TO KILL YOUR
USA: Artistic License Films
Cast: Kenneth Branagh, Robin Wright Penn, Suzi Hofrichter, Lynn Redgrave, Jared Harris, Peter Riegert, David Krumholtz, Johnathon Schaech, Kaitlin Hopkins, Suzy Joachim, Brett Rickaby, Lucinda Jenney, Derek Kellock, Stacy Hogue, Peri Gilpin, Tamala Jones, Benita Ha, Mark Brandon, Brent Chapman, Markus Redmond, Mark Schooley, Mark D Currie, Doug Abrahams, Ty Olsson, Fred Ewanuick, Anthony F Ingram, Robert Saunders, Jay Brazeau, Merrilyn Gann, Enuka Okuma, Haig Sutherland, Michael Benyaer, Sarah Cole Burnett, Michael Roberds, Michael Kalesniko
Director: Michael Kalesniko
USA Rated: R for language
USA Release Date: 22 February 2002 (Limited Release - Los Angeles and New York)
As L.A's most, if not only, successful playwright, Peter McGowan (Kenneth Branagh) has hit a creative dry spell. After a string of box office flops, his new play is set to open, but the script isn't finished. McGowan decides to workshop the production, and in the process has to navigate a minefield of egos, feuding actors, and showbiz politics. Not only that his producer and cast insist the ten-year-old character in the play doesn't ring true, he is challenged to develop a 'real' child and finds himself blocked.
The pressure piles on at home with his wife Melanie (Robin Wright Penn), a children's dance instructor, who wants a child of her own, which Peter isn't ready for. His perpetually confused mother-in-law (Lynn Redgrave) is living with them and dealing with her is yet another challenge. Peter also realizes he is being stalked - by a fan who thinks he's the real Peter. The final straw comes when the neighbor's new dog starts barking in the night, exacerbating his insomnia and brings him to the edge of insanity.
The new neighbor Trina Walsh (Lucinda Jenney) is recently separated and moves next door with her young daughter Amy (Suzi Hofrichter). Melanie recognizes an opportunity to assuage her husband's awkwardness with children, while Peter sees an opportunity to craft that 'real' child for the play. Peter comes to enjoy hanging out with Amy and his observations turn into something approximating genuine affection. But a falling out between Peter and Amy's overprotective mom, Trina, puts an end to their friendship. By the time he is forced to say good-bye to Amy, his life has changed - subtly to be sure - but changed nonetheless.