William Forsythe, who is just about as scary as it gets as Manny in Boardwalk Empire, takes on a different persona in writer/director Lee Madsen’s black comedy, Happy in the Valley. Announced this week for a DVD bow on Feb. 12 from Indican Pictures.
Stewart Fox (Forsythe) is the self-styled “World’s Greatest Erotic Photographer,” but to paraphrase Elton John, “Stewart’s candle burned out long before his legend ever did.” There was once a time when he was a top-line entertainment photographer, specializing in rock stars — hell, he may have even done a photo shoot for Elton John back in the day, but he’d be hard press about now to remember doing so.
Drugs, booze and a world-weary view of been-there, done-that have left him wondering what’s the point. Even his wife, Donna (Ursula Brooks — Daybreak, Full Frontal, etc.), who puts up with quite a bit — imagine naked women being photographed in your living room — is at her wits’ end.
The solution comes in the unexpected form of Wade Ward (Shaun Sipos — Lost Boys: The Tribe, The Grudge 2, etc.) — an “art school student” — who is recruited to photograph and document Stewart at work … all for a biography about his life.
Therapy right? An excuse to get the “World’s Greatest Erotic Photographer” out of his funk? Well, yes and yes, but a sudden moment of clarity takes some unexpected twists and turns as he delightfully says to his new protégé, “I’m going to enjoy corrupting you.”
|William Forsythe and Shaun Sipos in Happy in the Valley|
Images of Russ Meyer, Tinto Brass and Radley Metzger — masters of their craft — spring to mind when you see Forsythe walking the walk … and talking the talk (great lines from Madsen).
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