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Pipe Dream

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A plumber pretends to be a film directo to get himself noticed by one of the hottest actresses in New York. His screenwriter friend builds on his scam to get her movie made. To their surprise, they end up discovering what they want is each other. Stars


David Kulovic (Martin Donovan) seems an affable sort, a New York City plumber with a steady business. Yet one more time he overhears a potential girlfriend mentioning how the relationship can't work because he's just a plumber, like some other--lower--class of individual. One day Jimmy bursts in on a casting session because his friend, the casting director (Kevin Carroll), owes him money. The young actresses immediately think he is someone important, a producer or director. So the idea hatches: fake casting sessions to meet girls. Director John Walsh's film (co-written with Cynthia Kaplan) is never as shallow as the set-up might seem, and to mention more of the plot would spoil the surprises of this gem for romantic-comedy enthusiasts. It's a superb role for Donovan, a staple of filmmaker Hal Hartley's (Trust) who had his biggest brush with mainstream fame as Al Pacino's partner in Insomnia (released the same year, 2002). Mary-Louise Parker turns in another delightful performance as a neighbor of David's who holds the key to his scheme that quickly snowballs, and Rebecca Gayheart gives her best performance as the object of David's affection. The film has a false note or two, but certainly makes beautiful music. --Doug Thomas

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Martin Donovan, Anthony Arkin, Marla Sucharetza, Mary-Louise Parker, Kevin Carroll
  • Directors: John Walsh
  • Writers: John Walsh, Cynthia Kaplan
  • Producers: Carole Curb Nemoy, Danielle Shelov, Michael Zilkha, Mike Curb, Sally Roy
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: June 17, 2003
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008WJBX
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #130,819 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Pipe Dream" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Dr Lawrence Hauser on September 15, 2003
Format: DVD
Having never heard of it, I purchased a cable television viewing of Pipe Dream in the hope that its splendid cast would generate sufficient friction to hold my interest for an hour and one-half on a quiet Sunday evening. I was particularly intrigued at the prospect of watching Martin Donovan and Mary-Louise Parker, two exceptionally talented actors, work together in the context of a romantic comedy. I am happy to report that not only was I completely engrossed by this delightful ensemble piece, I had that all too rare experience of wishing it would never end! The story starts off a bit slowly as we encounter David K. (Donovan) toiling away unglamorously as a lowly plumber in New York City. Although he is obviously a well-trained and highly skilled tradesman, he feels under-appreciated as a man since woman seem to disregard him automatically given his workaday status and frequently soiled appearance. In fact, many of his clients hardly even look at him having prejudged his value solely on their preconception of the type of person who does such work. This is poignantly, and painfully, brought home one evening by his attractive neighbor Antonia (Parker) after they sleep together on the basis of both having had a good deal too much to drink. David overhears Antonia on the phone in the morning admonishing a girlfriend not to take the liaison seriously as even though the sex was great the man, after all, is only a plumber. How to elevate his status sufficiently to be regarded as a contender by desirable woman drives David into a flight of imagination that informs the narrative structure of the remainder of this very cleverly written tale of identity transformation.Read more ›
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bruce A. Nelson on August 24, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
There's a large majority in the world, at least in the Western Hemisphere that lives by the canon of "Perception is Everything". They prescribe and are overly dependant that immediate perception is the only mode that human beings acquire all information to process, interpret, judge and hence, "understand" and "see" others in the world. In other words, perception equals "reality". If one sees a banker, a car mechanic and a teacher, an immediate profile (or at the very least, a level of respectability and even desirability) can be assessed on each. Without delving (thankfully) in the complexities of Jungian theory, this low budget independent film by John Walsh explores with satire and insight, how widespread, yet fragile and ultimately false this belief is. There is a lot more than meets the eye and much humor in this human frailty.
The premise of the film is that of a plumber, David Kulovic (Martin Donovan) who cannot seem to score more than a one-nighter because "he's just a plumber". With the assistance of a casting director (Kevin Carroll), who's in search of the ultimate shower/water pressure experience and a would-be screenwriter, (Mary-Louise Parker) he concocts a rather remarkable scheme of meeting beautiful women by posing as a film director (who happens to be "hot" in Holland).
What prevents this over the top idea from turning into a Sandra Bullock afternoon waster is the excellent writing of Walsh and Cynthia Kaplan. It's an intelligent approach and a return to the dry humor found in the great romantic comedies of Hollywood's heyday. If you are looking for "American Pie", then stay away. Short attention spans will miss a lot of great one-liners. Donovan, Carroll and Parker give inspired and very funny performances.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Friedman on March 30, 2004
Format: DVD
Pipe Dream is yet another in the endless genre of films about making films but it's slightly different in that the bombast of moviemaking is downplayed and the relationships between the characters is highlighted. The basic plot is that of a plumber who masquerades as a film director in order to meet women, and in doing so finds himself in a position to direct an actual film. It's got a cute feel to it, mainly because Martin Donovan as the plumber as this mild goofball charm and Mary-Louise Parker, who is usually good in everything she does, brings her usual wry sense of humor to her role as the writer and real brains behind the project. Rebecca Gayheart is mostly eye candy but she does have some very funny scenes as an actress who may be in over her head.
It's a romantic comedy that teeters on sappiness but it never quite falls into that abyss, mostly because Donovan and Parker have a definite chemistry that elevates their characters into a realm where you genuinely care about them and feel for them. There's also very little in the way of extemporaneous scenes and dialogue that get in the way of the plot. While it is somewhat predictable, it doesn't feel like a cliche. There are some moments that are genuinely very funny but it's not that type of comedy. There are a couple of sequences that try to deal with a larger theme of place in society and stereotypes but fortunately these don't linger.
The film clocks in just over 90 minutes and it doesn't feel either rushed or dragged out. Overall, this was a nice little movie.
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