Phase9 Movies 2000-12

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Year: 2001
USA: 7th Art Releasing
Cast: Patricia Clarkson, Demian Bichir, Diane Venora, Chelsea Altman, John Shea, Howard Spiegel, Kate Blumberg, Kevin Draine, Lou Martini Jr
Director: Ruedi Gerber
Country: USA
USA: 91 mins
USA Release Date: 13 September 2002 (Limited Release - Los Angeles)
USA Release Date: 6 September 2002 (Limited Release - New York)


Neely's (Chelsea Altman) feeling down about her acting career. Tonio (Demian Bichir), her adoring boyfriend, isn't having any luck either selling his line of pasta sauces. They're about to throw in the occupational towel, get married and move to Mexico, when Neely is cast as 'the coma patient' on daytime's most popular soap opera, 'Heartbreak Hospital'. Of course, it's not the most esteemed of acting venues, but she's finally got her big break. Neely's new taste of success creates tension in her relationship; and as her part grows, she gets a little too big for her britches.

Soon, life as a soap star turns out to be just as crazy and overwrought as any soap script. The show's leading man, Milo (John Shea), begins to make advances toward Neely, causing the show's leading lady, Sunday (Diane Venora), to plot a jealous scheme against him. Things get even worse when Neely's neighbor, Lottie (Patricia Clarkson), begins to confuse the events on 'Heartbreak Hospital' - her all-time favourite show - with real life. Lottie goes too far and becomes dangerously jealous when Neely's character starts to date Milo's character on the soap.

Neely finally wearies of the circus her life has become and decides to win back Tonio. However, on the day they plan to get back together, Lottie takes Neely hostage and demands to be brought to Milo. Tonio, who thinks he's been ditched, is found at the rendezvous spot by the cunning and seductive middle-aged Sunday. She coaxes him back to her apartment and attempts to seduce him. But will Neely and Tonio manage to get back together, especially when Sunday is found murdered and Tonio is the prime suspect.

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