Pipe Dream

Movies are rarely about plumbers, and romantic comedies even less so. Pipe Dream is one of these movies, and not only is it a romantic comedy, but it is a low budget indie movie, and it wears both names proudly. The best way to describe Pipe Dream is cute. It is an unassuming, charming movie that knows its limitations and works perfectly within them. It also knows that it exists within the world of the formulaic romantic comedy, and takes cares to be a little less obnoxious than most others. Here, the two people who hate each other so much that they must be meant for each other are David and Toni, two acquaintances who live in the same building. After a night of drunken revelry, Toni (Mary-Louise Parker, Red Dragon, The Five Senses) snubs David (Martin Donovan, Insomnia, Cuba Libre) because he is "only a plumber." Needless to say, David is annoyed. He finds that his job is an excellent repellent towards women in general.

David's friend RJ (Kevin Carroll, The Navigators, Jesus' Son) is a casting director, and David notices that film directors seem to get all the women. Lucky for him, Toni is an aspiring screenwriter. He sneaks into her apartment, steals her script for a movie called Pipe Dream, and he and RJ begin casting a fake movie in order to get David women. Things never work out the way people want them to. Toni finds out about David's scheme and threatens to reveal everything, until he agrees to hire her as a consultant and shadow director. Pipe Dream also turns into an extremely hot property, attracting the interest of many famous actors. David has eyes only for Marliss Funt (Rebecca Gayheart, Harvard Man, Urban Legends: Final Cut), an attractive woman who cannot act. He hires her over the objections of everybody else, and they begin shooting a fake movie. Since David has no clue what he is doing, Toni communicates what he should say and do via radio.

Pipe Dream, written and directed by John C. Walsh (Ed's Next Move) and co-written by Cynthia Kaplan, also serves to highlight the vapidity of Hollywood in general. It spoofs the fact that someone can hype up nothing, making it seem like something wonderful. It also shows how brainless and shallow many of the people behind the scenes are, in particular, the Arnie Hufflitz (Peter Jacobson, Showtime, Hit and Runway) agent character. It is this other level that elevates Pipe Dream (nice double play on the title) above most other romantic comedies in that it has something else to say. Yes, David and Toni are pretty shallow people themselves, and too much of them can get annoying, but Walsh spends enough time tracking the sometimes zany attempts to film the movie that no one has to worry about disliking the principals. Of course, Pipe Dream is also a huge exaggeration on movie making, but not a mean-spirited take. So in its own little way, Pipe Dream achieves its modest goals to entertain and put a smile on the viewer's face.

Mongoose Rates It: Not Bad.
1 houe, 31 minutes, Rated R for a sex scene.

Back to Movies