Pin It

Little Bit of Everything 

by Ray Pride

The quirky, verbal romantic comedy Little Black Book has a lot on its mind about trust in relationships -- mostly trust in one's own instincts. While Brittany Murphy is its perky core as an employee on a Montel-like show (hosted by a spluttering Kathy Bates) going down the tubes, the movie's dark, beating heart is fierce producer Barb, embodied with a small woman's zest as only Holly Hunter could.

There are all kinds of twists here, but it's still strange to see her in what most people would think of as a Hollywood movie. She offers up her sidelong grin, saying, "It's not a Hollywood movie if I'm in it!"

While she's choosy, Hunter doesn't seem to be like Marlon Brando in saying that acting is a valueless thing to do with one's life. "No," she says quickly. "Nor do I really think he thought that. It can be a little embarrassing. It's all got a kind of wash of humiliation running through it. It's a patina of humiliation! It's because of the exposure when everybody else is thinking what time lunch is going to be and, God I really need a smoke, and you're up there being concerned with, y'know, revealing something universal about humanity. It's tough."

There's a lot of bracing meanness in Little Black Book, some distance from morally uptight, unhappy Jane Craig in Broadcast News, the last time she played a character in a TV studio.

"There are parallels. And huge differences. The biggest difference that I liked and wanted to shape with Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, the producer, who also heavily rewrote [the script], I really wanted to instill in the character that she's a drifter, she's a dabbler, she's not a careerist. She's not a professional woman, even. She's interested in a grand scientific experiment, which is us. She worked in the Peace Corps, she drove a bus, Wall Street, and then she lands in reality TV. I thought her a slightly bohemian type who definitely had an off-screen life, as opposed to Jane Craig, who was all on-screen. I wanted hints of an off-screen existence with this girl; she's put together. She looks good. She's got something going on that has nothing to do with being a producer.

"I hope that people also think of me as the 'Cheerleader Murdering Mom,'" says Hunter with a laugh, referring to the character she played in the 1993 made-for-TV movie The Cheerleader-Murdering Mom. "I was hoping she put an end to Jane Craig!"

Publication date: 08/06/04

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Seven Ways Drought is Impacting the Inland Northwest
  • Seven Ways Drought is Impacting the Inland Northwest

    No, it's not as bad as in California, but drought is taking a hefty toll
    • Jul 29, 2015
  • Hopeless for Heroin
  • Hopeless for Heroin

    As heroin deaths continue to rise in Washington state, what can a parent do to save a child from the depths of addiction?
    • Jul 29, 2015
  • Call Mr. Yuk
  • Call Mr. Yuk

    Gov. Inslee avoids the "poison pill"; plus, pushing back against empty Kickstarter promises
    • Jul 29, 2015
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue
Moscow ArtWalk 2015

Moscow ArtWalk 2015 @ Downtown Moscow

Tuesdays, Thursdays, Sundays. Continues through Aug. 31

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Ray Pride

  • Cuts Like a Knife

    There's a question that must be asked about the third part of every trilogy: Is it necessary to see the first two films in order to enjoy the third one? In the case of Blade: Trinity, all you need to know about the previous episodes is that
    • Dec 10, 2004
  • Love Bites

    Love: the foremost four-letter word. Or at least it is in Mike Nichols' glossy yet stormy adaptation of Patrick Marber's 1997 world-weary hit play, Closer, which collates the most intense moments in the romantic lives of a quartet of modern-d
    • Dec 2, 2004
  • Sick Individuals

    I wanted to vomit. It's a learned reflex in this profession, looking away from the screen, but the premise of first-time director James Wan's Saw, a puzzle-game serial killer thriller -- described in the Sundance 2004 catalog as "indelible hor
    • Oct 28, 2004
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Patrolling While Black

    Gordon Grant's nearly 30 years as a Spokane cop have been affected by race, but that's not the whole story
    • Jul 8, 2015
  • Rushing's Rant

    The Airway Heights City Council has asked the mayor to resign after posting a racist Facebook message
    • Jul 15, 2015
  • More »

© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation