|Directed by||Christopher Scott Cherot|
Bridget D. Davis|
Christopher Scott Cherot
Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds
Robyn M. Greene
|Written by||Christopher Scott Cherot|
|Narrated by||Christopher Scott Cherot|
|Edited by||Christopher Scott Cherot|
|Distributed by||Miramax Films|
Hav Plenty is a 1998 American independent film released by Miramax Films, based on an eventful weekend in the life of Lee Plenty (Christopher Scott Cherot), written and directed by Cherot. The film is based on the true story of Chris Cherot's unrequited romance with Def Jam A&R executive Drew Dixon.
Financing for the film came from Cherot's time as a New York City cab driver, and a third mortgage on his mother's home. Principal photography took eighteen days in and around New York City and New Jersey.
Upon completion of principal photography, Cherot was out of money again, and it took him almost a year to complete his edit and make a screening print of the film. In May 1997, at his first "cast-and-crew screening" in a small screening room in New York City, Hav Plenty producer Robyn M. Greene by chance ran into Warrington Hudlin and Bill Duke in the lobby of the building and invited them up to view the film. Immediately after the screening, Hudlin invited Cherot to participate in the inaugural year of the Acapulco Black Film Festival, now the American Black Film Festival. Cherot accepted on the spot, and one month later, in June 1997, Hav Plenty was the opening night film in Acapulco, the first film at the first festival.
After seeing Hav Plenty at the Acapulco Black Film Festival, Tracey Edmonds and Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds offered to attach their names to the film and record a new soundtrack, consequently attracting an intense amount of media attention to what was previously a small, obscure independent movie. Three months later, after a screening at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 1997, Harvey Weinstein offered to buy Hav Plenty for an amount between $1.5 – $2.3 million. The entire time that passed between Cherot's first obscure screening in New York City to Weinstein's multimillion-dollar handshake-deal in Toronto was four months.
According to an interview with Chris Cherot, Miramax wanted to give the movie a happier ending. They compromised by adding the "one year later" scene which shows a happier ending, while at the same time leaves room for argument that Hav and Lee didn't end up together.
After screenings at the Sundance Film Festival in January 1998 to start the official "buzz", Miramax theatrically released Hav Plenty in the United States on June 19, 1998, with worldwide distribution following afterward.
- Christopher Scott Cherot as Lee Plenty
- Betty Vaughn as Grandma Moore
- Chenoa Maxwell as Havilland Savage
- Chuck Baron as Mr. Savage
- Hill Harper as Michael Simmons
- Kim Harris as Bobby Montgomery
- Margie St. Juste as Alexandria Beaumont
- Reginald James as Felix Darling
- Robinne Lee as Leigh Darling
- Tammi Katherine Jones as Caroline Gooden
Cameo appearances by:
- Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds as Lloyd Banks
- Lauryn Hill as Debra (Tru Love version of Caroline)
- Mekhi Phifer as Harold (Tru Love version of Felix)
- Nia Long as Trudy (Tru Love version of Havilland)
- Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas as Kris (Tru Love version of Leigh)
- Shemar Moore as Chris (Tru Love version of Lee)
- Tracey Edmonds as Amy Madison
Stephen Holden (The New York Times) said, "With his self-deflating cool and amused insight into the shallowness of the buppie world in which he drifts, Lee is one of the most original and likable characters to pop up in a movie in quite a while." Emanuel Levy (Variety) said, "Christopher Scott Cherot makes a splashy debut as writer, director, editor and star of this fresh, bittersweet, modern-day love story that recalls the early work of Woody Allen." Duane Byrge of The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "Screenwriter-director Cherot has dished up a dicey, romantic riposte, stuffing it with the real makings of romantic comedy: individual insecurities, desires and fears." Lisa Schwarzbaum (Entertainment Weekly) wrote: "[Cherot] may be new to the movie game, but he announces himself with such confidence and force of personality, you know a noteworthy talent has arrived." Kevin Thomas at The Los Angeles Times observed, "The pleasure in watching Hav Plenty comes from seeing Cherot discover the possibilities of the medium as he goes along... As it unfolds, repartee gives way to an increasing sense of the visual, and by the time the film is over, Cherot has discovered how potent [his actors] can be in repose..". The San Francisco Chronicle remarked, "Hav Plenty harks back to a different temperament with considerable charm." Entertainment Weekly included Cherot on its year-end "It-List".
Roger Ebert was more critical, calling the film "basically an amateur movie, with some of the good things and many of the bad that go along with first-time efforts": The Maxwell, Jones, and Lee "have strong energy and look good on the screen" while Cherot is "so vague and passive he barely has a personality", and the dialogue is mostly "strained, artificial small talk, delivered unevenly by the actors, who at times seem limited to one take (how else to account for fluffed lines?)".
Awards & nominations
- Best of Festival – Christopher Scott Cherot (winner)
- Grand Jury Prize, Dramatic – Christopher Scott Cherot (nominated)
- Best Screenplay – Christopher Scott Cherot (winner)
- "Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. July 3, 1998. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
- "Cherot Bets the House-and Wins – Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. June 18, 1998. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
-  Archived August 21, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
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- "NEWS!". The New Times Holler!. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
-  Archived August 14, 2005, at the Wayback Machine.
- "FILM REVIEW; She's Engaged, He Doesn't Date and He Disapproves of Her (but Guess What?) – New York Times". The New York Times. June 19, 1998. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
- Levy, Emanuel (October 15, 1997). "Variety Reviews – Hav Plenty – Film Reviews – - Review by Emanuel Levy". Variety. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
- "There'S Much To Like About `Hav Plenty'. – Free Online Library". Thefreelibrary.com. June 19, 1998. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
- Lisa Schwarzbaum (June 26, 1998). "HAV PLENTY Review | Movie Reviews and News". EW.com. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
- "Hav Plenty". Chicago Tribune. June 18, 1998. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
- "Charming Movie Is `Plenty' Predictable / Newcomer tries for old-style atmosphere". San Francisco Chronicle. June 19, 1998. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
- Jun 26, 1998 (June 26, 1998). "The It List: Movies". EW.com. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
- I hated, hated, hated this movie – Roger Ebert – Google Books. Google Books. Retrieved October 18, 2011.