5.7/10
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Ellie Parker (2005)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 14 July 2006 (UK)
A hilarious comic portrait of a young woman's struggle for integrity, happiness and a Hollywood acting career.

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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jennifer Syme ...
Greg Freitas ...
Rick Saul (as Gregory Frietas)
Gaye Pope ...
Blair Mastbaum ...
Jessica Vogl ...
...
Sam
...
Justin
Kim Fay ...
...
Chris
Todd Coffey ...
David Baer ...
...
Robbi Chong ...
Acting Student (as Robby Chong)
Jessicka ...
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Storyline

Slice of life look at a young woman trying to make it as an actress in Hollywood. Ellie Parker, from Australia, works hard: she's gifted with accents, hustles to auditions, changes clothes and makeup as she drives across L.A., goes to acting classes and therapy, maintains a friendship with another Aussie searching for the same roles, meets a cinematographer when he bangs into her car at a stop sign, and faces a failing relationship with her slacker thinks-he's-a-musician boyfriend. All this brings on an identity crisis - who am I, and should I keep trying to be an actress? Ellie's balancing act and her inquiry into self carry the story. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What happens when you become the person you pretend to be?

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some sexuality and drug use | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

14 July 2006 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Elli Parker - Schauspielerin  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$10,299 (USA) (11 November 2005)

Gross:

$34,410 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Naomi Watts and Scott Coffey shot additional footage to the original short version (Ellie Parker (2001)) over a process of five years. You can mainly tell which are new and old scenes due to Watts changing hair length. See more »

Goofs

Ellie uses a folding step stool to climb into the garbage can, but when the car pulls up and she climbs out, it's gone. See more »

Quotes

[after sex]
Chris: I was thinking of Johnny Depp.
See more »

Connections

References The Rules of Attraction (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

End credits theme song Ellie Parker
Written by Neil Jackson
Performed by Built Like Alaska
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User Reviews

 
Naomi Watts Comic Tour De Force in Predictable Story
27 November 2005 | by (Queens, NY) – See all my reviews

"Ellie Parker" feels like an extended episode of "Unscripted" through the funny lens of Albert Brooks.

It does show the strains of being expanded from a short, for bits that feel like a "Saturday Night Live" routine, and for typical targets for actors -- acting class, slacker boyfriends, friends competing for the same lousy roles in cheesy WB and Fox TV pilots, pretentious indie directors (and I assume it was intentional that the guy looked like Jim Jarmusch), scheming casting agents, and phony producers.

But it still manages to very amusingly have some original takes on Hollywood. The funniest angle is that no one does know who they are any more, whether from class, day jobs, rapid-fire auditions, therapy, one-night stands of flexible sexuality and recreational self-medication drugs, so that they always feel like they are acting in the movie of their lives. And everyone seems to want to be someone else anyway, such as a night out to see Keanu Reeves wannabe rock star in his band Dogstar.

Key to the success of the movie is the amazingly versatile chameleon Naomi Watts. While I presume the short started in 2001 before her break-out in "Mulholland Drive" as a bit of envy revenge when her good friend Nicole Kidman was already getting big roles, it now seems like nostalgia because she's so beautiful here it's hard to think of her being dumped or cheated on and so talented as she morphs from tragic Southern belle to channeling Debbie Harry as a New York doll to looking astoundingly like the naive young Hayley Mills and a self-referential take on Marilyn Monroe that it's hard to believe Leslie Bibb would get a role over her. She has terrific best friend chemistry with fellow Aussie Rebecca Rigg (who I did not recognize at all from "Farscape"), making me realize how few films showcase Watts with female bonding relationships.

While the in-Hollywood jokes get a bit much and the basic arc is predictable, there are a lot of chuckles. Chevy Chase is very funny in a grown-up cameo as her agent.

I know this may come as a shock to actors, but job hunting is just as merciless in other fields so we civilians can relate to Ellie Parker's travails. It is very sweet that the closing credits include director/actor Scott Coffey's tribute to the strong women who inspired him, particularly his mother.


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