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Published:November 23rd, 2010 20:20 EST
"Queen of the Lot" Charming and Masterful

"Queen of the Lot" Charming and Masterful

By SOP newswire

Addiction is a main theme of director Henry Jaglom`s new film "Queen of the Lot" - this is only fitting, because you may find yourself addicted to this charming and masterful movie. Since everyone loves a label, this movie is best described as a comedy-drama-romance, or... "Comdrarom." Hey, no one can say I`m not innovative now!

The film centers on protagonist Maggie Chase, played by the beautiful Tanna Frederick, an up-and-coming actress who has been relegated to acting in corny kick-ass action flicks and, as a result of two DUI offenses, a cumbersome ankle bracelet. Aspiring for more and to avoid the paparazzi that interminably surround her home, she decides to hole up with her manager and his partner - a couple that provide us with some of the first comedic bits of the film, who are forced to sleep on a couch in the guest house to accommodate Maggie. While she is there, she is given the addict recovery treatment, and realizes she can use her recent crimes to gain the publicity she aspires for after noticing how eager reporters are to interview her. More laughs are provided by an intimidating life coach who tries to help Maggie along in some, well, strange ways. While all of this is going on, her boyfriend, product of a famed acting family Dov Lambert comes to stay with her, along with his brother Aaron, a failed screenwriter played  by Noah Wyle of "ER" fame. All you need is a little imagination to see the spark that`s created by a simple "Nice to meet you" between the two.

If you didn`t see the spark, relax. An approaching scene tells the story of the forthcoming attraction between the two at a breakfast table, and if that still holds your skepticism, keep watching. Or reading. Well, I can`t give too much away... Just... Keep reading!

The unfolding love story has some gripping twists and turns, with both characters` contrasting personalities making for a hell of a pseudo-damsel-in-distress subplot. Aaron is calmer, more reserved and down to earth, while Maggie is more fixated on comparing her popularity to other celebrities and  her self-image. Not surprisingly, Aaron becomes her voice of reason and they both hint at some chemistry, even though Maggie still hangs loosely to Dov, who still hangs loosely to his wife, Shaelynn. Despite the unfolding love triangle, the writers are able to hold it together, unlike many films with conflicting love interests.

Complicating Maggie`s life further, Dov says the two will be staying at his father`s house, who is famed movie mogul Louis Lambert. Things go well to start, until a troubling financial situation for Louis and a visit from Dov`s wife makes matters a bit more spicy. The romantic tension builds between Aaron and Maggie, as things begin to spiral out of control for Dov - bear in mind, a central theme for the movie is addiction. Subsequently, things begin to fall apart for Louis at the worst time possible - the holiday season. The final scenes of the film are what really solidify the great cast and story, especially a hysterical twist on what could have sent Dov straight into the pits of final despair towards the end - which is built up wonderfully, I might add.

In all seriousness, this movie gets the seal of approval from this humble reviewer. If I were to believe in a star rating system, I`d give this a 4/5. Since I don`t, I`m telling you to see this great film. That`s much easier! Really, Noah Wiley gives one of his best performances ever, and I`m definitely looking forward to seeing more of Tanna Frederick`s work. The supporting cast also does a magnificent job, with Christopher Rydell as Dov personally impressing me the most in the film.

This movie is on a limited release schedule, with openings in New York on December 3, Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, San Francisco and San Diego on December 10, and Seattle on December 17. For more information, visit www.queenofthelot.com.

Note: The author of this article is no longer affiliated with theSOP.