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[Loosely Speaking]


New film chases another Ďdreamí: Two aspects of the film By the Sea evoke Field of Dreams. The plot features flashbacks about a turn-of-the-century baseball player; and the way the movie came to be made echoes " build it, and they will come. " All first-time filmmaker Dean Huh needs is Kevin Costnerís beginnerís luck. And he seems to have that on his side so far.

" Even the clouds came in on cue, " said an exultant Huh, about the good karma attached to the movie-making. Huh, 43, attended Brookline High, apprenticed in Hollywood, and lives in Needham. He worked for Dick Clark, among others, while at Pepperdine University, later becoming an independent producer (Command Performance) and part-time actor (Providence). But his foray into feature films came inadvertently.

Last summer, on vacation with his wife and son, he discovered the fabulous grand hotels of Southeastern Rhode Island. The scenery inspired him to write a screenplay ó quite the opposite of most movies, which are written, cast, then location-scouted. The romantic comedy features New York starlet Elena Aaron as a Cuban-American chef at one of the resorts. There, she is visited in her dreams by her Cuban grandfather, who played turn-of-the-century baseball at the resort. The plot flashes backward and forward, amid romance supplied by Cambridge-based actor Bob Pemberton and comedy from Bostonís Jimmy Tingle and Tony V.

" All the actors hit home runs, " said Huh, who is seeking a distributor. " Jimmy Tingle kept us in stitches, whether the cameras were rolling or not. Heís an absolute natural. " This is the comedianís first major role.

Meanwhile, super-director Barry Levinson is said to be looking to make Elena Aaron the next big thing. But itíll be Huh who got her to first base.

Bad company: Check Out magazineís annual Hall of Shame in the December issue, and you will find, right up there with Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, our Jane Swift. The guv gets slammed for opposing gay marriage. She " extended some domestic partner benefits to same-sex employees, " Out admits. But the magazine finds it hard to " take seriously Swiftís claim that she wants to preserve the sanctity of marriage when her husband buys wedding rings in bulk at Costco. " Whew.

Strange trip: A column about Boston in the vaunted Sophisticated Traveler, a special issue of the New York Times Magazine, made us think Yogi Berra had been in town. At one point, writer Catharine Reynolds (a contributing editor at Gourmet) touts the Café Three Hundred in Fort Point as " the perfect pause " after visiting the nearby Childrenís Museum. Except the kids would evidently have to skip school to have lunch there: as Reynolds duly notes, the café is closed on weekends. She then plugs Mistral, with the caveat that " the din limits conversation. " À la Yogiís " nobody goes there anymore, itís too crowded, " weíre left to think that amid so much din, nobody talks. Lastly, there came the poke at the North End trattorias " serving tomato sauce indistinguishable from the chefsí grandmothers,í  " followed by praise for Steve Rosen of Salts, who was " influenced by his Eastern European grandmothers. " Italian nanas arenít worth emulating, but Jewish ones are?

Loosely Speaking is at ngaines@phx.com

 

Issue Date: December 4-18, 2001

 





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