Whispers of Stephen King’s Misery and The Dark Half get a considerably more light-hearted treatment in this Utah-made comedy about a frustrated literary author named Simon Hayes (director Christopher Gorham) who creates a best-selling sensation in a Twilight-esque series about a human/mer-man romance, yet remains anonymous behind the pseudonym Sally Carmichael. Gorham and screenwriter Daryn Tufts pull back on the most potentially interesting subtext, as the self-loathing Simon gets glimpses of the joy these works that embarrass him have given to others. Instead they focus on Simon’s romance with a widowed mother (Elizabeth Tolloch), and the shenanigans of an eccentric movie star (Sebastian Roché) considering starring in the movie adaptation. It’s mostly silliness rather than a hard look at the divide between high and low art, but it’s silliness that works, efficiently constructed—including an opening credits sequence that dispatches the set-up most movies would turn into the entire first act—and full of small moments that land their punch lines. As is true of Sally Carmichael’s books, there are far worse things than stories that simply make people happy.
Director: Christopher Gorham
Producer: Adam Abel, Brian Garlock, David Nibley, Daryn Tufts and Andrew Smith
Cast: Elizabeth Tulloch, Jack McBrayer, Paula Marshall, Christopher Gorham, Sebastian Roche, Michelle Money, Perez Hilton, Alicia Hannah and Mallory Everton