If Only

In a few weeks, there will be not one but two new sitcoms on network TV about a thirtysomething adult who somehow end up back in the early 80s, having to relive their crappy teenage years. Not to be outdone, Outlaw Productions last year picked up Christina Welsh’s spec rom/com If Only, with Jennifer Love Hewitt attached to star in and produce. Until last week, there was nothing else to be heard about this film until last week, when Gil Junger, director of the alleged comedies Black Knight and Ten Things I Hate About You decided this piece of drivel was better than unemployment and signed on.

The story follows one Peter Wyndham, a chap of either British, Australian or New Zealand descent (you’ll forgive me, the filmmakers haven’t quite decided yet) who is given the opportunity to review the life he Could have lived if he’d done what he thought was right. Naturally, Peter is also given the chance to do things in a way that will infuse his life with meaning and happiness.

The casting notice sent out today calls for “an intelligent, ambitious and punctual (maybe even anal) young man, clearly smitten by his carefree American girlfriend, Emily who now lives with him. Dry-humored, with an eagerness to please, particularly at work, Peter is gearing up for the presentation of his career, horrified when Emily interrupts a very crucial meeting, under the mistaken impression that he’s left behind some important papers. Somewhat irritated by Emily’s effusive, impulsive nature, which is so unlike his own, Peter considers breaking it off with Emily, until getting a few words of advice from an older taxi driver. An unnerving dream or hallucination has Peter rethinking his priorities, ultimately giddy with relief when he realizes that he’s got a second chance to do things right.” Yes, Hewitt is the one stretching her acting skills to the limit to play the spontaneous American girlfriend.

If we’re lucky, production will not begin in London on October 15 for nine weeks. If you really think you can pretend to be in love with Jennifer Love Hewitt for that stretch of time, have your agent contact the casting directors. Ugh.


The Scorecard
Director: Gil Junger
Producers: Bobby Newmyer, Jeff Silver, Jill Gilbert, Jennifer Love Hewitt
Writers: Christna Welsh, Allison Burnett
Casting Directors: Victoria Burrows, Scot Boland