Year Released: 1999
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 80 minutes
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Jacob Young’s directorial debut, “The Martini Shot,” is a comedy/drama about a young woman so consumed by her dream to be a Hollywood player that she loses control of her life. Set in present day Edmond, Washington, outside of Seattle, this shot on video feature combines both humor and melodrama to create a telling look into the Hollywood dream.
Small town girl Jo Varagee (Carol DeSalles) hates her job as customer service rep. for the phone company. Jo’s waiting on a fat settlement check from a car accident to take her away to California to pursue her dream of becoming a producer. Her husband, Jack (Tony Doupe), is a medical student with a residency waiting for him in Los Angeles. They’ve got it all planned out, or so it seems. Once the check comes, 90 days and then they’re off to start a new life. When the check does come, Jo immediately fashions herself as the film producer she’s always wanted to be. The only problem is she’s still in Edmond and doesn’t know a soul in the film industry. Jo sets out buying a BMW, new clothes and jewelry, putting her finances and her marriage in jeopardy. Complete with business cards, a new look, and bitchy attitude, Jo tells everyone of her fictitious “jet pilot” project with a local celebrity. Then ex high school flame Dave (Mark Dias) enters the picture. Dave moves back to work in a wine shop, while waiting to get into culinary school. With her new ego, Jo pursues Dave pretending to be single. It all falls apart on Oscar night. Jo throws a lavish party to show off her new found wealth and career only to get blinding drunk, both on liquor and herself. Jack overhears her trying to convince Dave to come with her to California. Jack leaves her the next day and goes on to California on his own. After Jack leaves, she turns to Dave who snubs her and is off to culinary school in Europe. Now alone and broke, Jo has to start over, looking for a second chance to do it all right this time. Conveniently another accident follows and it’s “Hooray for Hollywood” once more.
The Martini Shot is a well produced, low budget film that works beyond finance or medium. It’s got an original story that the viewer wants to follow, two difficult things to put together on a budget. The whole producer wannabe story line does get a little old about three-quarters of the way through, but it’s thankfully rescued in time by Jo’s fall from grace. Ultimately, after the ending car accident, we are left to wonder whether Jo will blow her second chance.
Posted on April 11, 2001 in Reviews by Brian Bertoldo
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