Before there was the internationally acclaimed The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook or American Hustle, there was Nailed – a David O. Russell comedy that has languished in production hell since 2008. Now, effectively disowned by its director, it seems it will finally see the inside of a movie theatre, against all odds, and with the new, less interesting title of Accidental Love.
Starring Jessica Biel, Jake Gyllenhaal and James Marsden, and written by Kristin Gore (War Story), Dave Jeser (The Cleveland Show), Matthew Silverstein (Golan The Insatiable) and David O. Russell, the movie takes a swipe at American healthcare provision – setting a romantic comedy amid insurance coverage issues.
“Formerly known as Nailed (David O. Russell), Accidental Love tells the story of a small-town waitress (Biel), who accidentally gets a nail lodged in her head as her boyfriend (Marsden) attempts his marriage proposal. Her predicament leads her on a journey to Washington D.C, where she meets a dashing but clueless congressman (Gyllenhaal), who might be able to help her unusual case.
“Will their blossoming romance survive the cut throat politics of the Capital? With an all-star cast that also includes Catherine Keener, Tracy Morgan, James Brolin and Paul Reubens, Accidental Love is the funny story of what happens when sparks fly and love interferes with what you stand for.”
That the premise builds itself around troubled finance is more than a little ironic, as these were the issues that effectively sank the project in the first place. Production was repeatedly shutdown as unpaid bills piled up, and financiers came and went in the face of cast and crew members downing tools and walking out. Legend has it, the plug was finally pulled with just a day of shooting left, and David O. Russell parted ways with the film after he and yet another financier were unable to come to terms.
This all means that Accidental Love could very easily reveal itself to be an embarrassing mess when it is released on February 20th, 2015. Such a development would be deeply disappointing, however, as the new trailer has some quite winning qualities. The story seems to be a very ‘David O. Russell’ kind of comedy – with an enjoyable tone that bears some similarity to his earlier work, such as Flirting With Disaster. Additionally, it boasts a fantastic cast.
Jessica Biel is a great comedic performer, and seems to more than hold her own against Jake Gyllenhaal – who has always shown himself to be gifted at getting the laughs, given half the chance. Marsden brings the talent, too. Then, there is Catherine Keener – another superior actress who has, with the exception of War Story, been wasted in the past few years, turning up in Captain Phillips for just a few moments to rush down a flight of stairs. Indeed, this kind of broad material is where actors such as these get to shine.
Finally, there is the subject matter. In 2008, this would have been a biting satire, in the vein of Wag The Dog. But now, there is ObamaCare, and the air has slowly leaked out of that particular bloated balloon of social injustice. Sure, it’s still a relatively hot-button topic, but for different reasons.
All in all, the prospect of Accidental Love is just too intriguing to ignore. While audiences may hedge their bets and await its arrival on VOD – date as yet unconfirmed – it certainly seems like one to watch for, if only to see to which degree such a difficult production process has affected the final movie.
Source: The Film Stage