Get ready to laugh. CHRIS AND THE COFFEE GIRL is about Chris, a thirty year old guy who is trying to find himself. He’s hung up on Penny, a beautiful coffee house barista, who finds something special in Chris, his gentleness, his awkwardness, his keen eye for details in the coffee house, and his ability to sketch. Penny herself is a coffee house cutie by day and an empowered rock ‘n’ roll singer by night. She tells the dreamer Chris that “dreams are goals with deadlines.”
What separates Chris from Penny is Chris’s lack of confidence in himself. Perhaps Chris’s focus is distorted because of the guilt he feels due to his status as a surviving twin. His twin brother Kurt died tragically in a car accident… Chris was driving the car. It’s hard for Chris to overcome his guilt in a small New England town where everybody knows your name. Chris is stuck.
Enter The Book. Chris finds this mysterious black book, or more correctly, The Book finds Chris, sitting in the coffee house. The Book cajoles and challenges Chris to “man up” and approach Penny. When that plan doesn’t work initially The Book tells Chris he will need to practice and play the field with other females in the neighborhood. Meeting all these beautiful women, like The Yoga Momma, The Coy Librarian, The Hemp Girl and The Spanish Waitress, and trying to seduce them is an exciting life experience for Chris with The Book in his corner. The Book would have Chris be a modern day Don Juan. Yet, Chris’ heart still remains for Penny. Ultimately, Chris must decide… is it The Book or The Girl?
Award winning moviemaker Mike Messier (WRESTLING WITH SANITY short film trilogy and BLOOD! SUGAR! SID! ACE!) is jumping full into this project as writer, director and actor, teaming up with Creusa Michelazzo and assistant Stephanie Castanos of Macremi Productions (Chris Esper’s STILL LIFE, PLEASE PUNISH ME).
Table reads and auditions have lead to New England Actors John Joseph, Lindsey Sonya Joyner and Debra Gagnon being cast. Messier says “we are moving forward but we’re still in development. We cast several parts well in advance of shooting. These choices helped me move forward tremendously. I know what colors are on my palette.”
According to Messier Dave Levesque, owner of Brewed Awakenings’ Coffee House with four locations in Rhode Island has graciously offered to host as a principal location.
Messier wrote the initial draft for CHRIS AND THE COFFEE GIRL based on his own tragic dating experiences and an actual book he discovered on how to approach women. “Ultimately, what it’s all about for Chris, me and other guys, is one word: Confidence. The Book, and Penny, help Chris find that confidence, in different ways.”
The movie has several name attachments. As Penny is Maria Kanellis, well known to general audiences from her appearance on Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice, the cover of Playboy magazine, and as World Wrestling Entertainment’s Diva of the Year. Maria currently is a recording artist, an independent film actress (Woodhaven film’s ARMY OF THE DAMNED), and a celebrity guest at events such as Fender Bender – a car and bike show held by Sinner and Saints Tattoo during the summer in Onset, MA. Maria also keeps in touch with her wrestling fan base through Top Rope Promotions out of Fall River and her home promotion of Ring Of Honor Wrestling.
Messier has enlisted Raven – a Pro Wrestler/ Comedian/Actor to provide the voice of The Book. Messier and DP Tim Labonte traveled to Philadelphia to capture a video teaser with Raven. Messier reports “Raven really wants to be involved in quality work. He’s such a funny guy!”
Other talents that Messier has enlisted include pro wrestling legend Ox Baker as Big Scary Dude, a menacing figure that appears in a gym sauna to warn about the downfalls of being a lone wolf. Wrestlers Matt “Spike” Hyson and Big Daddy V will appear in a men’s fashion store scene, a parody of the famous dressing room montage in PRETTY WOMAN.
CHRIS AND THE COFFE GIRL is likely to work under the SAG Ultra-Low Budget Contract and seeks a $75,000 budget. Product placements are a current goal. U.S. and foreign sales and distribution rights are all up for discussion and negotiation. Messier says, “An executive producer, with experience in guiding a film of this magnitude, would be ideal.” Celebrity Home Entertainment, a full service film releasing company headquartered in Beverly Hills, California, has provided a letter of interest in distributing the film, given a look at the finished film.
Messier smiles and says he loves a challenge; “Let’s do it. Let’s make a movie!”
Photos (from top to bottom)
Raven on set. Photo by Tim Labonte / CHRIS AND THE COFFEE GIRL writer/director Mike Messier. Photo courtesy of Mike Messier. /Maria Kanellis. Photo courtesy of Maria Kanellis / Mike Messier and John Joseph Lindsey. Photo by Alex DiVincenzo