Does anyone really love Phillip Morris? The embattled gay-themed film, which has seen its US release date switched at least three times, is now facing an injunction that would prevent such a release.
The Hollywood Reporter Esquire blog reports that a legal battle between producer EuropaCorp. and US distributor Consolidated is at the root of the injunction.
Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor star in the Glenn Ficarra/John Requa film that was produced by Luc Besson's EuropaCorp. US rights were sold to Consolidated Pictures Group but Europa says it never got the full $3 million advance that Consolidated agreed to pay last year.
In April, EuropaCorp rescinded its distribution agreement and filed suit against Consolidated alleging breach of contract and copyright infringement. The studio demanded the return of the movie and marketing materials.
At the time, CPG's Timothy Patrick Cavanaugh denied the company had lost the picture, telling Deadline: "We're the distributors right now, we have a contract and we're asking Europa to deliver certain things.
We've hired legal counsel, and if we need to go to arbitration, we will. We plan to distribute this film." Now Judge Dale Fischer says EuropaCorp. is likely to succeed on the merits of its claims and portrays the defendant's arguments as weak, THRE explains. The dispute will now head to IFTA arbitration.
"This was only a preliminary ruling pending a final determination by the arbitrator," Consolidated's lead attorney Robert Chapman told THRE. "We believe the arbitrator will find in favor of my clients."
Europa lawyer Dale Kinsella told THRE: "No amount of spin from Consolidated can mask the fact that Europa persuaded a federal district judge that Consolidated breached the contract by never having paid a dime for this picture, and that they had therefore no right to claim to be a distributor or claim to distribute the film, period. Nothing in the judge's order in any way effects Europa's right to distribute the film from this point forward."
In other words The Holiday probably falls under the “guilty pleasure” category. Its not a classic romantic comedy by any standards but darn it it still makes you smile more often than you want to admit. The story centers on two women: Iris (Kate Winslet) a British newspaper columnist hopelessly in love with a man about to marry someone else and Amanda (Cameron Diaz) a highly successful L.A. career woman who just broke up with her latest cheating boyfriend. Being at the right place at the right time these two gals meet online at a home exchange website and impulsively switch homes for the holiday. Shortly after arriving at their destinations both women find the last thing either wants or expects: A new romance. Amanda is charmed by Iris' handsome brother Graham (Jude Law) and Iris with inspiration provided by legendary screenwriter Arthur (Eli Wallach) mends her heart when she meets film composer Miles (Jack Black). Oh just go ahead and take a big gooey bite. It’s good for the soul. The biggest problem in The Holiday is unfortunately the casting—which is real shame because you really want the chemistry to zing. They get it right with Winslet and Law who are both trying something a little different as romantic leads. Winslet in fact admitted to Reuters this was one of the more nerve-wracking parts she’s ever played because she couldn’t hide behind an American accent or a costume playing someone closer to well herself. But you would think these two Oscar-nominees had been making these type movies all along especially the insanely gorgeous Law who should have every woman swooning with his sensitivity. Where they get it wrong is with the Americans as the Brits just act giant circles around them. Black is clearly out of place. Although being very charming and funny looking like he made Winslet laugh a LOT (and who wouldn’t with that guy around?) their connection on screen is somewhat amiss. Diaz comes off looking even worse. Even though she’s the veteran of the romantic comedy (There's Something About Mary My Best Friend's Wedding) her screechy neurotic klutzy Amanda is in no way appealing. You have to scratch your head wondering why Law’s Graham would fall so hard for her. What does make The Holiday work however is writer/director Nancy Meyers. She’s proven herself quite adept at the genre with films such as What Women Want and Something's Gotta Give under her belt. With The Holiday Meyers skillfully crafts individual moments of refreshing comedy as well as heartening scenes of blossoming romance. The initial seduction scene between Amanda and Graham is particularly sweet and quirky with the crisp dialogue flying at a nice clip. And isn’t it comforting to see a holiday movie minus feuding neighbors commerciality or any sort of mean-spiritedness? But Meyers has the tendency to go more for the superficial rather than dig deep with her characters. The Holiday has a one of those glossy rosy glows whose only aim is to make you feel good. True the film will mostly speak volumes to the women in the audience (that’s a polite way of saying its a “chick flick”) but oh well. It’s fluff may be a nice reprieve during the hustle and bustle of the season.