The PTSD from watching Love, Actually is still recurring. The hives that broke out from prolonged exposure to He's Just Not That Into You haven't fully cleared up. And Valentine's Day hasn't even groaned into theaters yet. But somehow there is another awful-sounding ensemble romantic comedy on the horizon—one that promises to take Barry Manilow for all he's worth.
Single Cell partners Sandy Stern and Michael Stipe and Playtone partners Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman have joined forces to develop a romantic comedy that will exploit the song catalogue of iconic singer/songwriter Barry Manilow.
"Exploit" seems a little harsh. I mean, they're just gonna make a nice little sing-a-long romantic comedy musical a la Mamma Mia, but with "Mandy" instead of "Waterloo," right?
Though Playtone produced the U blockbuster “Mamma Mia!,” the idea for the film is closer in tone to “Love Actually.” Characters will not follow a plot and burst into song, as Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan and others sang from the Abba catalog.
The project was hatched by Stern, who hooked Manilow with the idea making a character-driven romantic comedy with intersecting storylines involving Manilow fans who are all arriving in Las Vegas on a weekend where Manilow will headline Mandalay Bay, the largest venue on the Strip. His music will be heard through the movie. Manilow will also perform a song or two in the film.
Sure. The characters aren't gonna follow a plot and burst into song for the Manilowsical! That would make too much sense. Instead, the movie is going to be Love, Actually Is Barry Manilow. Picture it: a 65-year-old grandmother turns up on the hotel doorstep of another 65-year-old grandmother, who happens to be married to the first 65-year-old grandmother's best friend—another 65-year-old grandmother (that's Manilow's fan base)—and confesses her undying love for her in the most irritating way possible: a series of cue cards. Beautiful, right?
This should go without saying, but not every specific sub-set of humanity has to have their own version of Love, Actually. That shouldn't be a goal. We have an awful ensemble romantic comedy for people with the personality of Silly Putty who loooove Christmas (Love, Actually); We have one for morons who are confused by such advanced technologies as cell phones and the MySpace, as well as for the 12 people who find Kevin Connelly anything but laughable as a movie love interest (He's Just Not That Into You); Soon we're gonna have one for people who just want to see every single actor in Hollywood fall in love on Valentine's Day (Valentine's Day); And apparently now we're gonna have one for Fanilows. That's more than enough. No one wants an ensemble romantic comedy that follows a bunch of Wiccan characters making their way to the big summer solstice celebration in Sonoma—as set to the tunes of Celine Dion. (Well, maybe 3 people want that, but let's ignore them.)