Extraordinary Measures

  • Directors: Tom Vaughan
  • Producers: Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher, Carla Santos Shamberg
  • Writers: Robert Nelson Jacobs
  • Genres: Drama
  • Actors: Brendan Fraser, Harrison Ford, Keri Russell

Brendan Fraser plays John Crowley, a biotechnology executive, whose two youngest children were afflicted with Pompe disease. Along with his wife, Aileen (Keri Russell), he raises money for research scientist Robert Stonehill (Harrison Ford) (most likely representing Dr. William Canfield), forming a company to develop a drug to save his children’s lives.

A Fish Called Wanda

  • Directors: Charles Crichton
  • Producers: Michael Shamberg
  • Writers: John Cleese, Charles Crichton
  • Genres: Comedy, Crime
  • Actors: John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline, Michael Palin, Maria Aitken, Tom Georgeson

George Thomason (Tom Georgeson) and his right-hand man, Ken Pile (Michael Palin), a beleaguered animal lover with a bad stutter, plan a jewel heist and bring in two Americans to help: an alluring con artist, Wanda Gershwitz (Jamie Lee Curtis) and a “weapons man”, Otto West (Kevin Kline). Wanda and Otto are lovers pretending to be siblings so that Wanda can work her charms on George and Ken. Wanda and Otto plan to betray Ken and George after the heist, and vice-versa. Wanda, it later transpires, is also planning to betray Otto.

After the robbery, Wanda and Otto betray George to the police, intending to take all the loot for themselves, but discover that George and Ken have moved the loot to a new location. Wanda decides to seduce George’s unhappily married lawyer, Archie Leach (John Cleese)[1] to find out where it is. Meanwhile, Ken is charged by George to silence a key witness, and Otto exerts his energies in fits of jealousy over Wanda and Archie and of impatience with Ken and Britain in general. Otto’s interference, and other incidences of bad luck, lead Wanda and Archie’s liaisons to go disastrously wrong.

There is subsequent confusion and slapstick. For example, in various attempts to kill the witness, the animal-loving Ken accidentally instead kills her three Yorkshire Terriers one by one. The witness eventually suffers a fatal heart attack when her third Terrier is killed. The title is derived from the name of Ken’s favorite tropical fish, which Otto eats alive, to Ken’s distress, during the farcical torture scene.

Archie and Wanda gradually fall in love and the movie ends with those two leaving the country with the jewels[2]. Ken finally has his revenge on Otto by running him over with a steamroller (which he somehow survives). Title cards reveal their futures: “Archie and Wanda were married in Rio, had seventeen children, and founded a leper colony. Ken became Master of Ceremonies at the London Sea World. Otto emigrated to South Africa and became Minister for Justice.”

Camp

  • Directors: Todd Graff
  • Producers: Danny DeVito, Pamela Koffler, Katie Roumel, Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher, Christine Vachon, Jonathan Weisgal
  • Writers: Todd Graff
  • Genres: Comedy, Musical, Drama
  • Actors: Daniel Letterle, Joanna Chilcoat, Robin de Jesus, Tiffany Taylor, Don Dixon, Sasha Allen

Camp focuses on the formation of a love triangle between campers Vlad, Ellen, and Michael. Michael and Ellen have been to the camp before; Vlad is a first-timer. Vlad is one of the few male campers who identifies as heterosexual, he’s more interested in roots-rock style music than Broadway show tunes, and he’s interested in sports. Vlad ends up rooming with Michael, a gay youth who – after being gay bashed for wearing a dress to his junior prom – is estranged from his parents. Michael quickly develops a crush on Vlad, who enjoys the attention but doesn’t reciprocate the emotion. Vlad, initially “seeing” Jill, ends up instead involved with Ellen after they’re cast in a play together.

Throughout the summer, the campers put on productions of various plays and musicals, including Midnight Sun, Buried Child, Dreamgirls, Promises, Promises, Romeo and Juliet, Fiddler on the Roof, Follies and Company. Bert Hanley comes to the camp as a special guest counselor. Bert wrote one hit musical, The Children’s Crusade, but was never able to repeat that success. As a result, he has developed a drinking problem.

Jill, a prima donna, picks up a devoted follower in the person of Fritzi. Initially borderline psychopathic, in an All About Eve-style move Fritzi slips Woolite into Jill’s Snapple, sabotaging her appearance in Company and stepping into her role.

The film contains a cameo appearance by Broadway composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim, who plays himself.

Erin Brockovich

  • Directors: Steven Soderbergh
  • Producers: Danny DeVito, Stacey Sher, Michael Shamberg, Gail Lyon, John Hardy
  • Writers: Susannah Grant
  • Genres: Biography, Drama, Romance
  • Actors: Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, Aaron Eckhart

Erin Brockovich (Julia Roberts) is an unemployed single mother of three children who, after losing a personal injury lawsuit against a doctor in a car accident she was in, asks her lawyer, Edward L. Masry (Albert Finney), if he can find her a job in compensation for the loss. Ed gives her work as a file clerk in his office, and she runs across some files on a pro bono case involving real-estate and medical records against PG&E.

Erin begins digging into the particulars of the case, convinced that the facts simply do not add up, and persuades Ed to allow her further research. After investigation, she discovers a systematic cover-up of the industrial poisoning (Hexavalent chromium) of the town of Hinkley’s water supply that threatens the health of an entire community. She finds that PG&E is responsible for the extensive illnesses residents of Hinkley have been diagnosed with and fights to bring the company to justice.

Along Came Polly

  • Directors: John Hamburg
  • Producers: Danny DeVito, Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher
  • Writers: John Hamburg
  • Genres: Comedy, Romance
  • Actors: Ben Stiller, Jennifer Aniston, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Debra Messing, Hank Azaria, Bryan Brown, Alec Baldwin

Reuben Feffer (Ben Stiller) is a friendly insurance actuary who, since his job involves analyzing risk for insurance purposes, likes living life in complete safety and free from any unnecessary risk. As the film opens, he is celebrating his wedding to Lisa Kramer (Debra Messing), but promptly catches her making love on their honeymoon with a French scuba instructor (Hank Azaria). When he returns he meets Polly Prince (Jennifer Aniston), an extroverted former classmate, at an art gallery he was asked to by best friend Sandy (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Sandy appeared in a film when he was a teenager and now thinks himself a big star. Sandy asks Reuben to leave because Sandy “sharted”, they say goodbye to Polly and the next day Reuben tells Sandy he’s going to move on and ask Polly on a date. The two engage in a match against two other men in which Sandy tells Reuben that Polly would not be right for him because she has a tattoo and is nothing like when they were in 7th grade. At the end of the night he calls Polly but hangs up, she calls back and before he can stop it, his answering machine announces his name. Reuben then detours near Polly’s apartment where he catches her coming home, and pretending he didn’t see her, he then lies that his answering machine has been malfunctioning and calling people on its own.

Reuben moves into his new house and talks to Lisa who wants to see him at Sandy’s play. A friend of Polly’s reveals she’s leaving town but doesn’t know why, but just then Lisa comes over to Reuben and he’s forced to introduce her to him. As they sit down to watch the play he gets a call from his boss to evaluate Lew’s case, and Sandy announces to the audience that he will be playing the lead of the play as well as his own part, which causes a fight to break out the lead and Sandy, as despite Sandy only appearing in one film when he was young he has become convinced that he is a star. Reuben’s dad breaks his silence from the start of the film who then tells Sandy to let go and that it doesn’t matter what happened in the past or the future, it’s about enjoying the ride and something great will come, something unplanned for. This inspires Reuben and he tells Lisa he won’t be getting back with her because she’s a heartless bitch for cheating on him. He then learns from Sandy that the documentary he was making was a fake, so Reuben sends Sandy to his big meeting regarding Lew’s case in his place so he can rush to catch Polly before she leaves town. He sees her leaving but can’t keep up, and wanders back to her apartment where he finds her pet ferret Rodolfo, whose lead got caught in the door. Polly then comes round the corner shouting out for Rodolfo, sees Reuben and walks away with Rodolfo in tow. He apologizes and says she was risky but worth it. Back at Lew’s insurance case, Sandy is recognized by the businessmen for his part in the old movie after he delivers Reuben’s presentation, the board is impressed and Lew is granted his insurance despite his love for dangerous sports. Reuben being unable to convince Polly he gets some nuts from a vendor and makes them dirty by dropping them on the floor and eats them to proves he can take risks and says if Polly leaves she’ll never know what they could have had. They reconcile and we see in the future Reuben and Polly on the beach where he had his honeymoon. Claude runs into them, they explain they’re not married but in the future maybe and point Lew out, who’s just a small distance off. Reuben thanks Claude for everything and then he and Polly go off into the sea.