Plot Details Revealed for Cameron Crowe's Wacky Romantic Comedy
by Alex Billington
October 12, 2008
Back in June we brought you the news that Ben Stiller and Reese Witherspoon were set to star in filmmaker Cameron Crowe's next film. At the time it didn't have a title and the story was being kept under wraps. All that was revealed was that it was a contemporary-set romantic comedy adventure. Finally a few updates have arrived today via both SlashFilm and Gone Elsewhere that shed some light on the story. Those who are familiar with Crowe's past work (which includes Say Anything, Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous, and Vanilla Sky) know that his films are anything but ordinary. To whet your appetite, the story revolves around a military contractor and is set in Hawaii surrounding an illegal satellite launch on the island.
There are a couple of plot synopses that have popped up, but we'll stick with the one from SlashFilm which actually comes from the pages of Production Weekly. For some minor clarification, this synopsis is actually only an introduction, and we'll get into a few of the more juicy details afterwards. Take a look:
Ben Stiller stars as a 37-year-old disgraced US weapons consultant named Brian Gilcrest, who is disliked by most everyone. His only friend is a techie named Jeremy who lives in the caves of the Cheyenne Mountains, with wholm he's only communicated by phone. As a response to aggression from China, Gilcrest is deployed to a dormant military base in Hawaii to supervise the launch of an advanced spy satellite. Together with the mission's designated liaison officer Major Lisa Ng, he must secure the blessings of the native Hawaiian council before the launch. Gilcrest also gets a chance to meet with Tracy, the one woman who got away. On the island he discovers himself.
So here's where things get a little wacky. Apparently that only friend of his, named Jeremy, is actually "a super-smart and highly aware computer." To top all that off, the group in Hawaii is "haunted by visions of the Hawaiian Gods, and forced to throw a sacrifice into the erupting volcano." Huh? Now I'm a bit lost. Apparently this is a combination of Brian Gilcrest's struggles to manage the "supernatural myths of Hawaii's spiritual leaders, the emotions for his almost-ex-wife" and last but not least, "the tricky feelings he develops for this difficult military liaison." So far this sounds like a mix of Iron Man, due in part to the opening near-death scene set in Afghanistan, and Eagle Eye, with a dash of Ben Stiller comedy.
I'm not really sure what to think? To be completely honest, this entire concept worries me, but then again, this is Cameron Crowe, and he has taken some off-the-wall ideas and turned them into great films. The script review on Gone Elsewhere mentions that "the performances are going to make or break this. The characters are there, it's just going to come down to how these actors play it." With Ben Stiller and Reese Witherspoon attached so far, this seems like it has the potential to be pretty good. "Done right, it could be Crowe's biggest mainstream hit in 13 years." I'm just worried that this plot is a little too wacky to be accepted by mainstream moviegoers or even turn out coherent in the end. What do you think?