Dear God, The Les Grossman Movie Is Real -- and It's 'Heartfelt'
I'm willing to give on-the-brink screenwriter Michael Bacall the benefit of the doubt based on what I've seen and heard of him so far, from Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (which he co-wrote) to the Todd Phillips-produced teen party comedy Project X and 21 Jump Street (both of which he has scripting and story credits on), the latter of which is earning surprisingly glowing reactions from the blogoscenti. But I might have to draw some sort of line at the Tropic Thunder spin-off starring a fat, hairy Tom Cruise as slimy Hollywood exec Les Grossman, which apparently is not only really, seriously a thing but is, as Bacall describes, "a pretty heartfelt story."
"I wrote it for R because we had precedent with Tropic Thunder," he told Collider recently, promising a script unhampered by PG-13 boundaries. "It’s actually a pretty heartfelt story. I had a lot of meetings with Mr. Cruise and Mr. Stiller and it was crazy, it was a blast. I think we came up with some really fun stuff to give you an insight into who the guy is, so I’m hopeful that that’ll get up and running soon.”
Cruise, he admits, may be pretty busy with non-Les Grossman gigs for a good while, so it's hard to say when this insightful look at the man who won 8 Oscars, earned 400 million dollars at the box office, and saved Tugg Speedman's career will hit theaters. I can't imagine anything more exhausting than watching Cruise yell and dance to Flo Rida for the length of a feature film.
Project X, meanwhile, captures the youth side of a dick-obsessed male culture if with an overabundance of sleaze, and 21 Jump Street is earning some of the most solid advance buzz I've heard in a while where high profile studio fodder is concerned. So maybe there's hope yet? Then again, Bacall is not only a scribe, he's an actor; while he most recently appeared in Inglorious Basterds, his appearance on the infamously terrible Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch: Make My Video Sega game actually makes me like him, although it proves that not all high concept projects built around macho gyrating personalities are good ideas.