ArticleID: 130
Date: 2/24/2002
Written By: Captain Jackson

by Captain Jackson

The mood was tense at The Michigan Theatre an hour before the festivities began. Manager George Davis appeared as the proverbial headless chicken as he frantically made his rounds to make certain every detail was under control. Not only was this to be a packed house, but a once in a lifetime event for the 71 year old movie house.

With scores of volunteers on hand to work as ushers, concession stand workers and technicians, the hour grew closer to when Jeff Daniels and many of the other stars would drive up in limos and take the memorable walk up the red carpet.

When the time finally arrived, Daniels himself was obviously a bit nervous. Taking almost fifteen minutes to walk the short distance, he gave interviews, signed autographs and thanked the many locals for attending. During that time The Bugs Beddow Band performed on stage, while many patrons took advantage of the concession stands.

The suspense grew once the audience was seated and the band finished. At that point Daniels appeared on stage with Executive Producer Bob Brown to thank the citizenry of Jackson for their hospitality during the filming, along with hopes they would enjoy his latest picture.

Though the film takes place in modern day "Johnson City", it gives the feeling of many of those "feel good" movies that were made in the fifties. It is well acted and possesses a very dry humor, the kind that takes you a few moments "to get it". And while the plot is obvious, it''''''''s how the story evolves that makes it great, and definitely worth seeing.

Some controversy arose because of the movie`s R rating. Jackson Citizen Patriot entertainment reporter Dave Hoger made the comment that this was due to "sexual innuendoes". On that point I must disagree. Sexual innuendoes, yes, but nothing as bad as I have seen on daytime soap operas or evening network television. I believe the reason for the rating came down to one scene in which a housewife is obviously "enjoying" herself in bed with an attachment. Without it, I`m sure the movie would have only been PG-13.

And this could have been a marketing ploy. After all, the film`s next destination is Aspen, Colorado and the HBO Comedy Arts Festival. "R" rated movies do seem to garner a greater audience. Take the movie "Erin Brockovich" for example. In that, there is no nudity, no violence. Just a well acted, good plot. However, Julia Roberts` over use of the "F" word definitely guaranteed the film an "R".

The audiences truly loved this film. "I don`t see what all the talk was about," one woman said, "You should see some of the crap they show at [another Jackson Theater], and nobody talks about that". And this seemed to be the general consensus of both audiences.

For Daniels and crew, their hard work has paid off. He was even able to breath a sigh of relief once seeing the community`s positive reaction. Will something like this ever happen again? One can only wonder.

For pictures of the event, check out the various CRIMEFIGHTER CORPS photo galleries. To read other stories by CAPTAIN JACKSON and The CRIMEFIGHTER CORPS check out The CAPTAIN`S CORNER.

Driven by Xcent

AMS Developers, Inc. 904 Thomas Drive, Jackson, Michigan 49203  517-841-6497