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. As the film is character driven, the audience gets to learn about and like the characters well, despite their selfish traits. You will find yourself rooting for David's nutty idea and the human complexities that unfold within it. There are touching moments in unlikely places, as in the scene where David and a set coffee caterer discuss one's rank in life. The story not only satirically pokes holes in how people judge one another (or fails to even notice them) yet how individuals uses others, which is also depersonalizing. Yet the film never fails to lose its humor or become a model for soapboxing. Hollywood gets a bit of a well-deserved elbow or two as well. The final shot of the film brings all the themes together beautifully on how people should treat one another, without a trace of sappiness.
It's a shame so few people will see this film, as it seems its distribution was fairly limited. Take the time to purchase Pipe Dream. It's a lot more fun and insightful than Psychology 101 or Sandra Bullock.