AWARDS
FestivalResultAwardCategory
New York International Independent Film & Video Festival, September 9-19, 1999WonFeature Film Award
Best Romantic Comedy

Hawaii International Film Festival, November 6-20, 1999WonFeature Film Award Audience Favorite

Savannah Film and Video Festival, November 6-13, 1999WonFeature Film Award Audience Favorite

Paget Brewster Intereviewed by the A.V. Club

The A.V. Club interviewed Paget Bewster and they discussed past roles. Here's what she said about DBNS: "That was Bill Fishman, who wrote and directed "Tapeheads." He and his brother wrote it -- there were other writers, it wasn't just them -- and Bill directed it. That was me and Christine Taylor and Claudia Schiffer, and it's one night in L.A. where we're trying to find John Corbett, because Christine's character fell for John's character while they were traveling abroad, and she finds out he's in Los Angeles for one night. Henry Rollins was in it. Unfortunately -- and I don't think anyone involved in that film would disagree with me -- the flaw of that film is that it's two twentysomething girls in a movie where the humor is specifically pretty clearly for 15- to 18-year-old boys. So that's how it missed the mark, I think.

"But that was one of the first movies I shot, and, man, I learned a lot on that. And also... [Hesitates.] Ugh. Poor Claudia Schiffer. Ugh. I won't say who it was, but we had been shooting a week and a half, Christine and I, and the first scene we shot with Claudia Schiffer was at dawn, in a car. We had to shoot specifically at dawn, so you've got 20 minutes, maybe? You've got a fleet of Pink Dot vehicles driving towards the airport, and Claudia refuses to say the dialogue. We know our dialogue, and she says [Does a Claudia Schiffer impression.] "Oh, no, I'm not going to say that. My acting coach and I, we have rewritten this scene.' We were, like, 'What?'

"Her acting coach -- who, having affected my life to that degree, is a piece of human garbage -- basically was sucking money out of this supermodel who was completely innocent. I don't think Claudia Schiffer has a mean bone in her body. I think she was so desperate to act and not just be a model. I think she really wanted to act and have new experiences and have fun. I mean, she was doing an indie! That was a low-budget movie, and she had the balls to say, "Yeah, I'll do it. This will be a fun part!" And then her acting coach is just vacuuming money out of Claudia's account by saying, "We need to rewrite the script." And she would rehearse Claudia into the ground, and Claudia genuinely thought that she was not speaking with an accent, because this piece-of-crap acting coach had convinced her that she couldn't change lines, she couldn't take direction... [Sighs.] So that was a bummer.

"I don't blame Claudia in any way. I think she honestly was trying to do her best and that she was absolutely taken advantage of by someone who wanted a producing credit and wanted a writing credit and wanted to get as much money. I mean, Claudia Schiffer was worth tons of millions of dollars. And this woman just took it, just conned Claudia into thinking she needed this person around all the time. It was just gross and abusive and crappy. And Claudia Schiffer didn't end up doing a lot of acting, I think, because the reputation that traveled with her was, "You're going to be stuck with so-and-so, and she's going to rewrite your script, and..." [Sighs again.] I don't like that person. Even having never met her, I still don't like her. You know what I mean? I can't say who it is. I don't want to be sued. But I think she's a piece of crap. And I don't think Claudia was to blame."

My response: The target audience was intended. Over the course of the production, the rom-com spec screenplay went from a "Sleepless In Seattle" lovers-don't-meet-until-the-end chick-flick rip-off to 1) an adult-oriented "After Hours" nightmarish night/dark-side-of-the-city comedy (e.g., the bartender) to 2) a music-filled "Swingers" Hollywood-hopeful/sweet-wannabe musical rom-com (e.g., wannabe actors bouncing from club to club) to 3) a "There's Something About Mary" gross-out rom-com -- because the studio was just looking to copy the latest comedy trends for a direct-to-video movie. The film has elements of all those drafts, but because of changes, none of them are fully executed and as a result the events aren't involving. It's an unromantic "Sleepless In Seatlle," an unsuspenseful "After Hours," an untrendy "Swingers" and a too-tame "There's Something About Mary." But you know what? It's a sweet movie and deserved better. We were brought in for the last phase with the idea of punching up the jokes. Frankly to Paget's point, 15-18-year-old boys would have LOVED to follow her and Christine around nightclubs all night, so I disagree that it was a flaw ("T.S.A.M." and "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion" did well enough at the time that I think you can see the logic in it). But most of all, the whole project was a money scam and was never intended to get a theatrical release, by business design. No matter what the quality was, it wasn't ever slotted to be anything more than an add-on to a package deal with European distributors for Franchise's bigger releases. The producer didn't care about the quality, so no money was going to go into script development or the production budget (in fact it was repeatedly slashed during filming -- Paget even refused to come out of her trailer one night because she hadn't been paid). Whatever the cost (or the quality), it was only going to make a certain amount in the deal, so he didn't want to spend any more money that would cut into his profit (and yes, he got sued for a hundred million Bucks and lost when the backers finally caught on to his over-inflated budget reports -- so after filing for bankruptcy with his company he's now out of the movie-making business... but still destroying Hollywood by turning Grauman's Chinese Theater into a dance club). You can read my take on it all here. So the fault is in the execution, not the intent. (But yes, Claudia's acting coach was a total nightmare.)

Review from the Hawaii International Film Festival:

"Music video director Bill Fishman, known for his work with Hank Williams Jr. to Suicidal Tendencies, brings us his third feature, a hilarious parody of the Hollywood nightlife scene.

"A comedy of near misses with the right people and repeated run-ins with the wrong, DESPERATE BUT NOT SERIOUS is a must see for anyone who loves the Big Orange, and anyone who absolutely hates it too.

"Out-of-towner Lily (Taylor) arrives in Los Angeles to attend a wedding reception with the man of her dreams, Jonathan (Corbett). Aided by party-girl Frances (Brewster), they embark on a night of adventure after the wedding invitation is lost. Their wild romp through the streets of Hollywood in search of the reception, takes them to club after club -- including the trendy "Vapor" Room and even into the home of famous actor Darby Tipp (hint: read the name backwards).

"After being thrown out of parties, terrorized by a psycho bartender, and chased by police it seems Lily will never find her man - or will she?"
-Minette Lew

RELEASE DATES:

  • USA ("Desperate but not Serious"): 2000 (Blockbuster Video Special Limited Release)
  • Australia ("Desperate but not Serious"): 31 October 2000 (video premiere)
  • Russia ("Отчаянные красотки"): 31 October 2000 (video premiere)
  • Hungary ("Szeszélyes szerelem"): February 2001 (video premiere)
  • Italy ("Troppo pazze... poco serie"): 07 Feb 2001
  • USA ("Reckless + Wild"): 2002 (20th Century Fox DVD and video release)
  • China (including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan): 17 Aug 2002
  • Spain ("Una Noche Salvaje"): 8 February 2005 (DVD premiere)
  • Thailand ("วอรัม รัก ก่อนวิวาห์"): 24 February 2005 (limited theatrical release)
  • Argentina ("Desesperada pero no tanto")
  • Czech Republic ("Honièka na chlapa"): 12 July 2010 (re-release)

Read more international coverage here.

Hot Damn! We're on the Female Celebrity Smoking List.

Here's a nice review in Eyecrave DVD: "This film is a throwback to the fun and cheerful indies about twenty to thirty-somethings looking for love and redefining their lives through partying and meeting odd people... The central cast are all strong performers with extensive backgrounds as sidekicks and ensemble players, and the innumerable cameos are hilarious and unexpected."

A 4-star review of the "completely, insanely wonderful Paget Brewster" in MatchFlick: "I ended up laughing hysterically in moments ... I can't deny that this is a perfect, 'Queue and Bake' movie to watch with friends. Or even imaginary ones. Brewster looking all Bettie, by the way? Totally hot. Just wanted to add that in as well."

Henry Rollins (who plays "Psychotic Bartender") was interviewed on The Onion's A.V. Club Web site. He told writer Stephen Thompson:

"I just wrapped up a part in the film Desperate But Not Serious with Claudia Schiffer and Christine Taylor and all these beautiful women. Very strange, to be on the set with, like, 20 drop-dead women who have, besides a professional capacity, zero interest in you. And you're just sitting amongst them, and none of them are looking at you. None of them are talking to you. Claudia Schiffer has bodyguards with her. She's real nice; I mean, no one bugged her. She's mellow. I guess she gets enough crazoids running at her in airports, she kind of has to have her big Samoan man around her. So that was fun?"

Cast members in DBNS wear wear bcbg max azria fashions.

Read all about it at the BCBG Web Site.

New Times Los Angeles covered the wrap party for DBNS. Lisa Derrick wrote:

"Which is a greater stretch -- Henry Rollins as a serial killer/bartender, or Claudia Schiffer as a university scholar who keeps changing her major? Well, you can be the judge with the release of Desperate but not Serious, the latest, greatest movie directed by Bill (Tapeheads) Fishman and written by Abbe Wool.

"Shot for $650,000, the comedy -- which finished shooting last Friday night with a scene in the parking lot of Lumpy Gravy (the techno-supper club was starring as an afterhours called the Black Hole) -- traces the trail of Lily (Christine Taylor) and her pal Frances (Paget Brewster) as they pursue the man of Lily's dreams (an etymologist, played by John Corbett) through Los Angeles nightlife.

"Along the way they encounter drag queens, an alt-rock wedding, and a slew of L.A. locals -- Brent Bolthouse as the groom, John Fleck playing a sleazy producer/agent/manager, Bill Cusack as Trendy Guy, the infamous Pink Dot delivery cars, and the working-very-hard-on-her-character-motivation Claudia "Stanislavsky-Babe" Schiffer as studious party-girl Gigi -- who turns out to be the deus ex machina for the film's happy ending.

"There's also a mysterious elongated object called Big Pink....

Sunday at the Opium Den, Bow Wow Wow played a quick set for the Desperate cast and crew's wrap party. Though supermodel Schiffer didn't show, Rollins did. (This is the second film Hank has shot in the last two months; the other is Warner Bros.' Frost. On top of that, he's got a new book called Solipsist due out August 1, with a CD and long-form video following in September. The last was directed by Modi, an old pal of Fishman and Rollins, who was busily chatting away at the bash.)

"Also in attendance: Cusack, Taylor, Brewster, and other cast members. Except for Big Pink...."

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