Love Monkey

Thursday, February 2, 2006

You know, I could have sworn I had written something on here about Judy Greer in the past, but it would appear not, which is a crying shame. Really, the entire career of Judy Greer can be seen in Jawbreaker in which she goes from quirky, awkward wallflower to cruel, dismissive, soul-withering harridan. It's not a terribly believable transition in the film, but, for better or worse, outlined what she would be doing for the next five years or so. Wallflower in What Women Want,The Wedding Planner; harridan in 13 Going on Thirty, The Specials. Her perfomance in the latter film (a little seen low-budget superhero comedy that makes a decent companion piece with the live action version of The Tick) as Deadly Girl (whose powers seem to be snide looks at her teammates and off-handed crushing remarks) is fantastic. She shows some really good timing, and manages to pull off attractive, yet evil, better than just about any actress I can think of. Her wallflower roles are generally pretty thankless, but she manages to make them significantly more distinctive than they have any right to be.

All told, I'm pretty well convinced that Judy Greer is one the best comedic actresses working today. Her appearances on Arrested Development certainly seemed to bring a fair number of people around to that position, poising her for some bigger, better roles than she's had.

Which brings us to Love Monkey. Adapted from the novel, but reconfigured to be set at a record label instead of a publishing house, the show feels like an attempt to do High Fidelity as a tv series. Tom Cavanaugh stars as an idealistic A&R guy who gets fired from his major label job to end up at an indie label. An indie label that is either Matador or just decided going to plaster their offices with posters from another label. He's allegedly has excellent taste in music (as it's his commmittment to excellent music that gets him fired), but he keeps a My Chemical Romance poster in his apartment and gets very excited about an aggressively bland singer-songerwriter type, who apparently aspires to be the next Jason Mraz. Not really the poster child for music snobbishness. Given that Nic Harcourt is involved, I guess I shouldn't be too surprised, but the music choices all seem overly corporate - even for him.

Perhaps the only really noteworthy aspect of the show (and this is stretching a lot) is the casting of Jason Priestley as one of the circle of best friends. I'm still waiting for Jason Priestly to do another project as strange as Coldblooded, and, while this isn't it, I'm glad to see the guy's working.

The previously discussed Judy Greer plays the best friend/would-be-love-interest. I'm not sure if it's bad writing, some sort of pressure from her agent to turn her into a leading lady, or incredibly awful direction, but she's completely lifeless. The character could have been played by any number of interchangeable young actress, and to cast someone of Judy Greer's caliber seems like a waste.

Still, the prospect of a show with Cavanaugh, Greer, and Priestley about "indie" music has some pontential. Sadly, the current producers and writers (and Harcourt) don't seem interested in really making this show what it could be.

Rating: C

Reviewed by Padgett Arango
Contents
The Hills Have Eyes 2

Hostel Part II

Six Degrees

Shark

Jericho

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Justice

The Hills Have Eyes

Love Monkey

Out of Practice

Head Cases

Crunchwrap Supreme

The Exorcism of Emily Rose

Batman Begins

Garden State

Hero

13 Going On 30

LAX

Starman

quirkyalone.net

Kill Bill, Vol. 2

Line of Fire

We Shall All Be Healed

Happy Family

Arrested Development

Love Actually

A Minute with Stan Hooper

Tarzan

Karen Sisco

Stop All the World Now

Cold Case

Skin

10-8

Joan of Arcadia

Eve

Luis

Lost In Translation

House of 1000 Corpses

Bubba Ho-Tep

Darkness Falls

Pirates of the Caribbean

The Amazing Race

Treasure Island

FearDotCom

Adaptation

To Hit Armor Class Zero

Without A Trace

8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter

Life With Bonnie

Jalapeņo Cheeseburger

The Mothman Prophecies

Happy Campers

The Man Who Wasn't There

Kiss of the Dragon

Josie & the Pussycats

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Dr. Pepper

Know By Heart

Waking Life

L.I.E.

Thirteen Ghosts

Earthlink presents Chang and Eng

New York and Country Bar

Change

Motivation and Water Tower Grammar

Crossing Philly

Makeout Club

Undeclared

The Gap

The Abolition of Work

3000 Miles to Graceland

Kolobos

Duets

The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Diesel Sweeties

The Cold Six Thousand

The Grilled Stuft Burrito (Rebuttal)

60 Second Wipeout

The Patriot

Grilled Stuft Burrito

Cowgirls

Crystalline

Frankenfinger E.P.

One Force Down

Shake

Both Our Secrets

Happy Birthday Captain Columbus!

Fight Club

Whatever It Takes

Committed

That Skinny Motherfucker with the High Voice?

Joe Dirt

The Veggie Whopper

Taco Bell Nachos

Palmetto

Godzilla vs. Monster Zero

The Terror of Mechagodzilla

To The Center

Infiniti+Infiniti

American Psycho

The Del Shredder

What Lies Beneath

The Cheesy Gordita Crunch

Bring It On

Chill Factor

Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars

Bad Company

The Blair Witch Project

Hyacinths and Thistles

Lake of Dracula

We'll Have a Time

Home Depot

Snow Day

The Virgin Suicides