The good news is that a new search phrase has finally overtaken “Angelyne for governor” as the #1 thing leading people toward this blog. The bad news for all you googlers: sorry, I don’t know whether Efram Potelle is gay.

I did see Efram, however, along with his movie “The Battle of Shaker Heights”, this Friday night at the Arclight. Maybe I should work in the Miramax marketing department, because I felt like the film needed more comedy. The funny stuff worked; the rest mostly didn’t. The script felt watered-down and a little formulaic, but it was full of great, clever dialogue (but not too clever — man, I hate “too clever”), and a truly original character in Kelly.

The movie had some other problems with its casting (the “bully” was actually the puniest-looking kid in the movie), its hairstyling (the school principal looked like a homeless woman), its soundtrack (hey, Kelly and his friend are having a serious fight — what a good place for a bouncy pop song!) and its cameos (yes, we heard your voice in the battle scene, Efram. Congratulations, you’re a movie star.)

But all in all, not a bad movie, and considering what everybody went through to get it made, they should probably all be commended.

After the screening, we were promised a Q&A with the writer and directors, which was probably the reason most of us in the audience were there. We weren’t so much interested in the movie as in soaking up as much “Project Greenlight” as we could. When the lights came up, we all clapped, assuming the filmmakers were waiting in the wings, but then nothing happened.


We waited and waited. An entire minute went by. Then another. People started to whisper. “Did they take off?” “Was this a come-on?” “Was the movie that bad that even the filmmakers couldn’t sit through it?” Some guy walked up to the front of the auditorium, and everyone got silent. But he was just another viewer returning to his front-row seat. Almost ten minutes went by, and people were starting to trickle out.

Finally, Kyle, Efram, Erica and Jeff Balis walked out. Whew. (I bitch only because we were never given an explanation or an apology for the delay, and I’m still grumpy about it. Hmph!)

The very first question was about whether Efram gave back the car. (He did, and he’s tired of being asked that.) Kyle and Efram both complained that the show wasn’t an accurate representation of what they’re really like. Well, then neither are Q&A sessions apparently, because Kyle and Efram seemed pretty much the same as they were on TV. Erica was the one who didn’t seem to get her due on the show, if only because we didn’t see enough of her. In person, she was smart, charming, and extremely funny and quick-witted. (I was gushing so much about her that Drew got a little jealous.) Jeff Balis seemed uncomfortable and desperate for the evening to end, perking up only when a creepy stalkerish woman in the crowd said some creepy stalkerish things about how wonderful he was and giggled her way nervously through it, while admonishing her friends to like, you know, cut it out, you guys!

The filmmakers also dished out the horrifying information that Pete Jones, of Project Greenlight 1, is making another movie. Pat Peach and Pete Biagi are surprisingly on board again, completing the unholy trinity. And not only is Pete writing and directing this time, he’s starring in it as well. (As a character named “Pete”, no doubt.) Drew told me later that he already knew all about this because it was in the trades last week. Apparently, the story has something to do with Pete’s character coming out of the closet to his conservative Midwestern family.

Sorry, googlers. No word on whether Pete himself is gay.

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