When we are young, we are taught that lying is wrong, and there was a simple black and white, yes or no aspect to living each day. Of course, as children we did not have to live through the decision-making processes which descend upon us as we become adults. Embellishments on the truth begin to occur and fuzzy lines are drawn, as we deal with dating, parents, school, religion, politics, work.
This film tells the story of a bachelor, Pete, in his late thirties, trying to be true to himself as a struggling one-stop marketing operation, working from his home. It is set in 1989, and he is the product of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. An active bachelor, he meets a woman, Rebecca, who is the real deal in advertising –they sleep together, she offers him a job in New York, and he returns home to the suburbs each day where a good friend, Aly, lives with her young children. His life is an existence between two sorts of poles – suburb vs. city, wholesome female friend vs. cold but beautiful executive, and eventually, being true to oneself vs. making money. Pete’s boss in his new job is Sherm, a man without morals, whose marketing campaigns disregard any semblance of truth. Pete starts to thrive, working with Sherm. Midway through the story, a friend from graduate school, Dumile, comes to live with Pete - a black man who grew up in Apartheid, a man with humanity. Thus another pole emerges: deception vs. authenticity. Dumile, on a fateful night, points out to Pete that a person’s inside and outside need to match. As the story winds down, events occur which cause Pete to look at the lies he has told himself, some perhaps ever so subtly.
Layered into this “A” story – carefully, because it is a difficult element to put upon a narrative - is the commentary by Pete’s young self, the ten-year-old Pete. To him, he has grown to be a professional liar, but notes that to his adult self, he is media savvy. This technique allows for us as an audience to experience “flash forwards”, as the young Pete narrates how he got to this adult self – sometimes with tent pole events of the Baby Boomer life experience - JFK’s assignation, the Vietnam War, Nixon – sometimes with intimate moments from discovering the truth about Santa Claus, to losing his virginity, to sex in college. Thus, establishing a final set of poles, the young Pete vs. the old Pete, allows the viewer to experience – hopefully – how the lies we were fed and lived through on a global scale somehow tie to the ones we live on a personal plane.
DOUG LODATO - CO-WRITER, DIRECTOR Co-Producer, Wild Wild West starring Will Smith; Writer-Director, Ticket Out, starring Ray Liotta
CHRIS NOONAN - EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Writer-Director, Babe - Nominated for 7 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Writer, Best Director
GREG MCCLATCHY - PRODUCER Director, Soccer Mom; Producer, Madman: The Life of Bert Stern; owner, PIC Agency