Picks and Pans Review: Spotlight On...
IT’S A COINCIDENCE WORTHY OF A Seinfeld plot: Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Fathers’ Day), Jason Alexander (Love! Valour! Compassion!) and Michael Richards (Trial and Error) all have movies out at the same time. You almost expect to see the trio bumping into each other at the multiplex, maybe with Jerry along to make a bootleg video.
After re-Seining last month with TV’s top sitcom for $600,000—each, per episode—Jerry’s kids hardly need movie cash. But will they get big-screen cachet? Alexander has made the biggest stretch from TV, playing a flamboyant gay man in Love!—”That’s as far from George as one can get,” says Warner Bros, president of theatrical marketing Chris Pula. Asks Alexander’s pal, Forrest Gump producer Steve Tisch: “Is Jason going to become the next Tom Cruise? No. But at the same time, they’ll all be offered good roles.” At 36, Louis-Dreyfus, who plays Billy Crystal’s exasperated wife in Fathers’ Day, may face a familiar Hollywood problem. “For women, the younger and sexier they are, the better,” says one agent. “Women like Drew Barrymore and Liv Tyler have more commercial appeal.” As for Richards, can moviegoers accept him as anyone but Kramer? In Trial and Error, he plays an actor masquerading as a lawyer. “When I’m working on the series…I don’t have a lot of choice about what movies I do,” Richards says, vowing that after Seinfeld, “I’ll be able to do much more.” Jerry himself apparently thinks his place in the movies is around the popcorn line. That’s because “the only movie he could star in,” says the agent, “is The Jerry Movie.”