The writer of a play or a screenplay is typically regarded as “the man (or woman) behind the curtain” whose work, while essential, is unseen and often underappreciated.
The movie “Murder, Anyone?” pulls back the curtain on the writer(s) behind the movie and shows us the work in progress with enjoyably clever effect.
“Murder, Anyone?” was adapted from a play by the late Gordon Bressack who spent most of his career writing animated television shows.
The movie is directed by Gordon’s son, James Cullen Bressack, who takes on the task of bringing his father’s craft to the big screen.
The plot features two playwrights, George (Maurice LaMarche, a voice actor best known for voicing Brain on the animated series “Pinky and the Brain”) and Charlie (Charles M. Howell IV) trying to come up with the plot to a crime thriller.
George envisions the story as an entertaining screenplay designed to make audiences flock to the multiplex while Charlie wants it to be an intellectual play grounded in meaning and pathos.
As George and Charlie argue, the characters play out their various stabs at the story which centers mostly on Cooper (Kristos Andrews) and Bridgette (Galadriel Stineman) and their murderous plots to steal a valuable painting from Bridgette’s father. Mostly.
The fun of “Murder, Anyone?” is watching George and Charlie’s ideas play out before them as the story darts off in all directions and the characters change their motivations, accents and even the actors playing the part.
It’s all mostly silly fun, but “Murder, Anyone?” is one of the better attempts out there to illustrate the creative process behind writing.
This movie is a testament to the power of imagination and to the lonely toil of the lowly writer.
“Murder, Anyone?” is not rated but contains language, mild-violence and some adult themes.