Opie Gets Laid
|Opie Gets Laid|
|Directed by||James Ricardo|
|Produced by||Heidemarie Fuentes
|Written by||James Ricardo|
|Edited by||Thom Obarski
The Company Pictures
|Distributed by||Vivendi Entertainment|
Opie Gets Laid is a 2005 American independent romantic comedy film originally titled Sunnyvale for its film festival submissions. The film is written and directed by James Ricardo and stars James Ricardo, April Wade, Ute Werner and Jesselynn Desmond.
At 30 years old, Opie (James Ricardo) is a virgin whose existence is made up of watching pornography and eating junk food. One day a drug dealer named Thai (April Wade) mistakenly comes to his door. She decides to help Opie by finding him a good woman, initially (and unsuccessfully) by online personal ads. Thai and Opie end up sleeping together while high on marijuana, and then end up seeing each other regularly. Opie starts having sex with other women, including Thai's lesbian lover Dakota (Ute Werner) and a "gun-toting" nymphomaniac named Rain (Jesselynn Desmond).
- James Ricardo as Opie
- April Wade as Thai
- Ute Werner as Dakota
- Jesselynn Desmond as Rain
- Gina DeVettori as Alicia
- Samantha Turk as Randi
- Heidemarie Fuentes as Jackie
- Mark Wood as Travis
- Hutchi Hancock as Kimmy
- Ellen Hughes as Mom
- Peder Fedde as Dad
- Michael L. Connelly as Mike
The film was shot at the Higgins Building in Los Angeles, in a New York City-style loft, and is partly autobiographical. According to writer/director James Ricardo, it was [originally] called Sunnyvale because he "didn't know what else to call it", and expanding, "Much like movie titles like Eraserhead. Sunnyvale is a comedic sounding title. It's a city that could only be in California." Under its new title it is distributed by Vivendi Entertainment.
The film was titled Sunnyvale during its film festival run and was the winner of the William Shatner Golden Groundhog Award for 'Best Underground Movie' of 2005. The award has been described by critic Joshua Taylor as "maybe... just a veiled promotional tool for William Shatner's new DVD of the month club".
SFist wrote that "...writer/director James Ricardo also starred in the movie and he was definitely the weakest of the actors. So it was hard to tell if it was just wooden acting that make Ricardo, the character, so passive or if he was intended to be. Talking to other filmgoers about it afterwards, we all seemed confused. No one really disliked it but everyone seemed unsure if they liked it really, or if they just wanted to like it."
DVD Talk offered that the film is "a lowbrow talking head comedy with a wittier than average script", and for "a first time director, Ricardo could have done much worse. His script is good, and he gets good performances from his three lead actresses." In making comparisons between Ricardo and directors such as Woody Allen and Clint Eastwood who have acted in films they were also directing, they made note that Ricardo's own lead performance as a deadpan Opie was serviceable, but had a stiffness that a director not himself in front of the camera might have caught. They summarized by stating the film "is a quirky romantic comedy about sex that has no sex and stars a cast of unknowns. But if you can get past that, you should be entertained."
DVD Verdict noted that the title and packaging led to expectations of a cheapo sex comedy featuring "clichéd plot developments and plenty of gratuitous nudity", but that the film "feels more like a stage adaptation than anything else", with sexual content only being alluded to by dialogue scenes serving "as the 'before' and 'after' for dozens of brief but apparently successful sexual encounters" They commented that the "editing is tight, the dialogue is occasionally quite amusing, and the film rarely becomes terribly boring", noting there were "many individual attributes of merit here, so it's a little disappointing that the film as a whole doesn't quite gel." They commented that the character of Opie as written by Ricardo had lots of potential, but that as played by the director just was not interesting. They noted a paradox in that "Ricardo's performance suggests that he knows his writing is good", in that he "delivers the dialogue with a sort of smug assurance that feels more like a tell than like a natural extension of the character's personality". They concluded that the film "wins points for breaking some genre conventions", and that Ricardo and some of the other cast have potential for future films.
- "Opie Gets Laid". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 February 2010.
- von Busack, Richard (8–14 March 2006). "'Sunnyvale': James Ricardo's Cinequest feature continues to rack up awards". Metro Silicon Valley. Retrieved 18 February 2010.
- Latchem, John (20 October 2008). "Lightyear Joins Vivendi". Home Media Magazine. Retrieved 18 February 2010.
- Parsons, Ryan (11 January 2006). "William Shatner to Host the Golden Groundhog Awards". The Can Magazine. Retrieved 18 February 2010.
- Tyler, Joshua (10 January 2006). "Shatner Gets His Own Award". Cinema Blend. Retrieved 18 February 2010.
- Lynn, Mary (6 March 2005). "Cinequest Review: Sunnyvale". SFist. Retrieved 19 February 2010.
- Walker, David (10 June 2009). "Review: Opie Gets Laid". DVD Talk. Retrieved 18 February 2010.
- Douglas, Clark (22 April 2009). "Review: Opie Gets Laid". DVD Verdict. Retrieved 18 February 2010.