‘Entourage’ latest TV show to hit big screen, with middling reviews
Beautiful cars, beautiful women, Hollywood hysteria and all-guys-together adventures — “Entourage” is the latest TV series to hit the big screen, albeit to decidedly lukewarm reviews.
Adapted from the hit HBO show which ran from 2004-2011 and won six Emmys, the film — out Wednesday in the United States — reunites Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) and his hilarious buddies.
There is his friend-manager Eric (Kevin Connolly), failed actor brother Johnny (Kevin Dillon), friendly Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) and above all his ferocious agent Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven).
The latter is inspired by several real celebrity agents in Hollywood, mostly Ari Emmanuel, the actual agent of actor Mark Wahlberg, whose adventures form the basis for “Entourage.”
Billy Bob Thornton and Haley Joel Osment join the series’ cast in the big-screen version, playing a no-nonsense Texas businessman and his talented but shady son.
“Entourage” is also sprinkled with appearances by celebrities including Jessica Biel, American football star Tom Brady, and billionaire investor Warren Buffett.
Critics have accused the film, which includes dozens of scantily clad women, of sexism.
“This world is very male-dominated, whether you like it or not,” said actress Emmanuelle Chiriqui, who plays Eric’s girlfriend. “Things in the show were maybe exaggerated for entertainment purposes, but it is what it is.”
The movie, which has been savaged by the critics — it has a dismal 32 percent rating on the Rotten Tomatoes movie review website — plays on a wide variety of cliches.
But it is undeniably entertaining in its way, above all due to the misadventures of Ari Gold.
“Entourage” is the latest TV series to be adapted for he big screen, after “Sex and the City,” also a buddy movie but for girls and set in Manhattan rather than the new film’s City of Angels.
“21 Jump street” also made the switch from the small screen, as did “Charlie’s Angels,” “Mission Impossible” and “Veronica Mars” among others.
“Bored to Death,” about an eccentric detective starring Jason Schwartzmann, is also being turned into a film.
For studio accountants, making a film from a TV show is a bit like making a comic-book superhero movie — it’s based on a proven popularity, so limits the risk of producing a flop.
For “Entourage” the film, which starts five days after the end of the TV series, Vincent Chase has already drawn a line under his short-lived marriage, and decides to go into directing.
Ari Gold has meanwhile taken over as head of a big film studio. Both are struggling to deal with moneymen who have little time for artistic vision.
“Hollywood has changed. TMZ wasn’t even around. The paparazzi were always around but now it’s another reality,” said director Doug Ellin recently, adding that Twitter didn’t even exist when the TV series started.
Those who decide which films get made and which don’t are a different species now.
“They want to make money ... now it’s these oil or hedge fund people who don’t even watch the movie ... that’s kind of sad but it’s good for the comedy,” concluded Ellin.