I suck as a friend (or “Watch this movie!”)

I can’t believe I waited so long to see this movie.  Geeze!

My friend, Greg Lessans, is a stellar guy and a helluva producer.  He runs a production company in Hollywood called Terra Firma Films with Adam Herz of AMERICAN PIE (and AMERICAN EVERYTHING) fame.

Terra Firma’s first movie , MY BEST FRIEND’S GIRL (on which Greg is one of the producers), came out on September 19.


Greg and I met nearly five years ago at Sundance, when I tried to pawn a script for what at that time was called MICHAEL’S LETTERS on him.  In the end, that script got sold, got re-titled, and became RUNAWAY.  Anyway, he took my card, and I thought that was the last time I’d hear from him.  But Greg is not Hollywood as usual.  Within a week, I’d gotten an email from his assistant saying that he’d like to meet me sometime.

A month later, I was on the Universal lot and spending an hour or so visiting with him.  I had a great time, if you don’t consider that I was also suffering from a minor bout of food poisoning (bad egg salad sandwich from earlier in the day–lunch meeting with a guy from WMA…appropos, no?).  We’ve kind of kept in touch after that, and have gotten together a few times when I’ve been in LA for meetings and such.

We’ve been in a perennial search for a project we can work on together.  Truth be told, the person getting in the way of that lately has been your truly.  This past spring, we were discussing an idea, and it’s been in my corner to make the next volley.  With all the work (and subsequent progress) on INCARNATION and the springing up of this new project, UNDONE–not to mention my SagePresence responsibilities–I simply haven’t had the time to noodle any more on the idea to flesh it out.  But Greg is a very patient guy…thank God.

That’s one of the things I really appreciate about Greg, by the way.  He’s been such a stalwart supporter of my work.  He consistently reinforces the stance that it’s not "if" we work together, but "when".  I am hoping that day comes sooner than later because I think he’d be a gas to work with and I’ve learned tons from him already just by hanging out with him and talking on the phone–he has this uncanny ability to dissect ideas and concepts and test their marketability and "movie-ness" immediately and in the moment.  It’s an amazing thing to see in action.  Frustrating, if you’re a writer trying to get him to say yes to a project, but secretly you’re thankful for it later because you know he really just wants you to succeed.

But I digress from the point of this post…

I had every intention of seeing the movie that day and sending Greg a bottle of champagne or something.  I ended up being in Chicago at the time, and my plans got kinda torpedoed.  I told myself that I would see the movie as soon as I got home, but life had other plans.

FINALLY!  Last night I told Robbye we had to go see it.  I plied her with the promise of a 55-gallon barrel of Cherry Coke and a tub of butter with popcorn sprinkles.  And so we went.

Mbfgside It was a fun movie.  Perfect for date night.  It’s kinda sweet and kinda caustic all at the same time, and Dane Cook is hilarious.  Not to mention Alec Baldwin, who has, it seems, found a whole new career as the wise-cracking curmudgeon and delivers here in spades.

Last time I checked, it’s still playing in over 1,700 screens around the country.  If you’ve got a couple of hours on your hands this weekend, head on over to your local cineplex and check it out.  I think you’ll enjoy it.

And support my friend, Greg!  Way to go, man.  I am quite proud.

P.S. Also, props out to my other friend, Josh Alexander, who has a great cameo as a prissy salon manager in the flick.  There’s a funny moment with him, Cook, and Jason Biggs (and the gal who plays Roxy in ARMY WIVES…yeah, I watch it.  What’s it to ya?).  I had forgotten that he was in it, and it was a little embarrassing when I noticed him and said way-too-out loud, "Oh, my god!  I know him!"

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