The name Baena probably doesn't ring any bells, except as a possible typo for the Hulk-playing Eric Bana. However, while Jeff Baena's name is under the radar, I'm sure that his work would ring some bells. He co-wrote I Heart Huckabees with the film's director, David O. Russell. That, in and of itself, should be reason to take note of him. I am always impressed when a newcomer not only brings something fresh to film, but can also take absurd ideas and make them work. Not only that, but the film holds one of my favorite familial moments, when Mark Wahlberg's Tommy Corn says: "Little girls like you, they have to work in dark factories where they go blind for $1.60 a month just to make Mommy her pretty shoes."

Now Baena is going out on his own. Warner Bros. has hired him to write a new comedy produced by Tapestry Films called The Awakening of Jean-Luc Barbara. WB is keeping mum about the plot, and they're just calling it a "battle-of-the-sexes comedy" for now. The movie will be directed by feature-newcomer Justin Reardon, who is a commercial director for Turnpike Films. The plot is anyone's guess, but if the name is any indication, it looks like it might be an inner battle reminiscent of Gore Vidal's Myra/Myron novels. Why else would the title have a person with a traditionally male and female name? Considering the quirk in Huckabees, Awakening is sure to include a unique spin for those who like unusual comedy.

categories Cinematical