Synopsis by Josh Ralske
Nicole Holofcener, writer/director of the critically acclaimed Walking and Talking, shifts her focus from New York to Los Angeles for her second feature, Lovely & Amazing. Jane Marks (Brenda Blethyn of Secrets and Lies) is a middle-aged woman who's about to undergo liposuction. She has three daughters. Michelle (Catherine Keener) is a cynical, self-involved, would-be artist in an unhappy marriage. Elizabeth is a struggling actress who constantly takes in stray dogs. Her insecurities about her attractiveness come to the fore when she blows a screen test with a big movie star, Kevin (Dermot Mulroney). The youngest of the Marks sisters, Annie (Raven Goodwin), is an overweight eight-year-old African-American girl whose birth mother was an addict. Jane has adopted Annie, and is determined to provide her with a better life. Jane has a crush on her suave surgeon (Michael Nouri of Flashdance), but her family is thrown into chaos when complications arise during her outpatient procedure, and she's forced to stay in the hospital. Michelle, pressured by her husband (Clark Gregg) to take some financial responsibility for raising their young daughter, eventually gets a part-time job working in a one-hour photo booth, where she meets Jordan (Jake Gyllenhaal), a misfit teen who awkwardly flirts with her. Elizabeth's boyfriend, Paul (James LeGros), who seems to disapprove of the entertainment industry, leaves her. Annie eats compulsively and misbehaves. When the family is faced with a series of crises, relationship patterns that had solidified over the years subtly begin to change. A festival favorite, Lovely & Amazing has been shown at the 2001 Telluride Film Festival, the 2001 Toronto International Film Festival, and the 2002 Tribeca Film Festival.
mother, actor, body-image, daughter, family-dynamics, plastic-surgery, self-image, sister