When I heard a bunch of A-list actors were getting together to film Speechless this week, I thought, “Finally someone is remaking that 1994 romantic comedy with Geena Davis and Michael Keaton!” I was surprised to find out that this was not the case. Instead, “Speechless” is a video campaign spearheaded by filmmaker George Hickenlooper. Go figure.
I’ve been tuning into Nikki Finke’s exclusive hosting of the “Speechless” campaign all weekend. She’s published online video clips starring notable actors/actresses that share the “speechless” theme as a united front supporting the WGA strike. After viewing the first nine, I must say that Rod Lurie’s clip starring Kate Beckinsale and David Schwimmer, might be the best one so far. Most of the others are pretty uninspired, which maybe is the point: after all, without writers what story is there to convey? Beckinsale and Schwimmer do a great job in just 45 seconds. Another great clip, is the Holly Hunter video, which plays off the premise that Hollywood will need call centers and outsourcing to get screenplays written in the future.
As a comparison to these, check out the Sean Penn video or the William H. Macy/Felicity Huffman video. Lame. Yet none of these are as earnestly awful as the Ugly Betty cast video. Sheesh. As I said, if the intention was to dull us into wanting writers back, mission accomplished. But as far as an effectively interesting video project goes, Lurie/Beckinsale/Schwimmer and Holly Hunter, got it right.