By Brian Brooks | Indiewire May 4, 2009 at 6:21AM
Two romantic comedies, "Coach" and "Taking Chances" have been picked up by Lightning Entertainment. The Santa Monica-based production and distribution company will debut the films in Cannes, Lightning's co-presidents Rich Goldberg and Richard S. Guardian announced Monday. The deal for "Coach" was negotiated by Rich Goldberg and Lightning corporate counsel Megan Holstein on behalf of Lightning and Lemore Syvan on behalf of Yeah Players Films. "Taking Chances" was acquired by Lightning Senior VP of Acquisitions Joseph Dickstein who negotiated with Megan Holstein on behalf of Lightning with Larry Furlong and Kyle Dean Jackson on behalf of Two Roads Entertainment and Tunnel, Inc.
Currently in post-production, "Coach" marks the feature directorial debut of Will Frears who also wrote the screenplay with Jason Pugatch and is described as a 20-something coming-of-age story starring Hugh Dancy ("Confessions of a Shopaholic"). Nick Scanlon (Dancy) is 28-years old unemployed, and lives on a trust fund. After being dumped by his girlfriend and surrounded by his now mature and working childhood friends, Nick becomes motivated to do something more with his life. He quickly finds himself a job coaching a middle school soccer team down the block from his trust-fund financed apartment. This incentive is rewarded when Nick meets Gabrielle (Liane Balaban), the beautiful doctor from the hospital close to his team's home field.
"Taking Chances," screening in the Marche du Film, is directed by Talmage Cooley from a script by Annie Nocenti. In the film, Chase Revere (Justin Long) discovers that a Native American casino is about to be built in his decaying hometown. As the self-appointed protector of the small town's rather meager place in American history, Chase joins forces with a wild but sexy girl (Emmanuelle Chriqui) to launch an all-out war against the project. Along the way, the duo earn the wrath of the entire town - whose well-meaning but simple citizens believe that the casino will save their local economy - and get an education about hope, love, heartbreak and how history is really written.
Other Lightning titles at this year's Cannes Market include ghost story "No-Do," "The Merry Gentleman" and shark thriller "The Reef."