“When you’re an actor, you have to wait for a chance to be able to go to work,” said actor-turned-writer-director Brian Klugman a Lower Moreland native who moved to Los Angeles 22 years ago.
“When you are a writer you can just sit down at the computer and write anytime.”
Perhaps best known as an actor for his roles as Kirby on Frasier and Dr. Oliver Wells on Fox’s forensics drama Bones, Klugman strikes out on his own with Baby, Baby, Baby, a romantic drama released this week by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on multiple platforms, including VOD, DVD and from all major streaming and download sites.
Klugman stars as Sydney, an actor staring down the barrel of middle age whose career hasn’t really moved beyond TV commercials and wh finds himself thoroughly demoralized by a recent breakup (Bones’ Michaela Conlin, an Allentown native, makes a terrific cameo as the ex-girlfriend).
Then it happens: Sydney’s finally finds his ideal woman, his soulmate, his perfect partner in Sunny, a gorgeous, tall and very stylish artist portrayed with great subtlety and wit by Adrianne Palicki (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., John Wick).
Wearing its influences on its sleeves – there’s a good deal of Woody Allen here and a touch of Steve Martin – Baby, Baby, Baby chronicles the couple’s relationship.
Somehow we know from the very start things won’t go all that smoothly: Sydney may be sweet, smart and funny, but he isn’t the most secure dude around.
“There’s this insecurity in him and his idea that he doesn’t feel as if he deserves something,” said Klugman in a phone interview from Los Angeles.
Sydney is also a budding short story writer who fictionalizes significant moments in his romance with Sunny. Klugman presents these absurdist love stories through a series of cleverly-placed mini-films that interrupt the main story.
The first is about a middle school boy who asks out a girl for the first time in his life. Then proceeds to throw up. Another is about a marriage so bad that the unloved husband’s body begins to shrink.
The director had a lot of fun with the vignettes which feature a remarkable raft of guest stars, including Jessica Alba, Jared Harris and Klugman’s childhood friend Bradley Cooper.
“We got to know each other at Germantown Academy,” said Klugman, who cast Cooper as the lead in his directorial debut The Words.
“It was amazing to cast [all the cameos]. I just feel so lucky that so many amazing actors who did these little parts in the movie. They just came in one after another,” Klugman said.
“I think the film will have quite a few surprises. I love the idea that the audience won’t know who might pop in next.”
And his costar? Klugman can’t stop praising Palicki.
“I met her for the first time when she read for this part. She was spectacular,” he said.
“When you make a little independent film, everyone really has to be really down for the cause to make it work. And she was just fantastic. She came in every day and she gave everything”
Baby, Baby, Baby can be purchased directly from the Sony Pictures Store, on DVD from major retailers and can be downloaded or streamed at Amazon.com, Vudu.com, iTunes and on demand through your cable or satellite provider.
Other titles of note
Loving. Director Jeff Nichols focuses on the love story at the heart of the legal battle in this powerful Civil Rights drama starring Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga as Richard and Mildred Loving, the interracial couple whose marriage was illegal in Virginia. Their case eventually landed at the Supreme Court which decriminalized mixed marriages. Available this week on VOD, Amazon.com, Vudu, iTunes and DVD/Blu-ray.
Hacksaw Ridge. Director Mel Gibson and star Andrew Garfield were each nominated for Oscars for this brutally violent, thrilling and awe-inspiring true WWII story about a conscientious objector who became one of the most cited and recognized heroes of the Pacific theater. Available today on VOD and for puchase on Vudu, iTunes and Amazon.com, due Feb. 21 on DVD/Blu-ray.
Moonlight. Sturctured as a triptich charting three stages in the life of an African American man from the inner city in Miami, Barry Jenkins' extraordinary coming-of-age drama has been nominated for eight Oscars. It's due Feb. 14 on VOD, Amazon.com and iTunes, Feb. 21 on Vudu. A date has yet to be announced for the DVD/Blu-ray release.