Newspaperman Spencer Tracy has to cover up a front-page error about rich playgirl Myrna Loy, and he enlists gigolo heartbreaker William Powell to falsely wed Jean Harlow to falsely break her heart and really scandalize Loy.
“Newspaperman.” Hilarious! That’s gone.
The Random Remake
Warren Haggerty (Penn Badgley) runs a paparazzi business out of L.A. called UNA. While he’s busy courting his silicon valley investors, the staff at UNA run a story on their website about an actress’s hellish behavior on a movie set. But they’ve been had, probably a gag from some online troll – turns out the actress, Connie Allenbury (Emma Watson), has gone through recovery and learned her lessons from her child-actor antics and actually been OK on this set. Connie loses her next role, owing to the fact that the fake story has blown up on social media and supposedly hard-news TV stations. It was a big role, too, in a superhero franchise. She’s gonna sue UNA big time, and with the problems it’s having over funding, this could be the end of UNA and Haggerty’s big break.
Haggerty knows he’s in a jam, and of course he decides the only way to fight back is to sink even lower. He hires one of his fixers, Bill Chandler (Russell Brand), to dig up some dirt on Allenbury. UNA will have a scoop if it can put her in a comprising position and will “drop the story” if Connie drops her lawsuit. Chandler is the guy who gets Haggerty inside information on flights, hotels, travel itineraries so UNA can accost celebrities. He arranges a meet-cute with Connie, “saving” her from a posh party paparazzi ambush that he himself arranged. He then charms her a bit while they’re at the party and even tries to get her back on drugs and alcohol but he’s having no luck. He arranges another fake coincidence to meet her, but again no luck – he’s getting nowhere with her in terms of getting dirt UNA can use against her. But his intuition tells him something, and he follows Connie’s leer at another actress.
With this discovery, Haggerty has to turn to his girlfriend, Gladys Benton (Mila Kunis), for additional help. She has to seduce Connie and turn her down a dark path – just enough for some juicy pics UNA can use for blackmail. Gladys will do it, if Haggerty finally pulls some strings and gets one of his friends to cast her in a movie – as he’s been promising for years. Gladys and Chandler work together to get her close to Connie, and while they do an attraction develops. Gladys is a good actress, and she pulls Connie in as she vamps it up. Connie even offers to help Gladys get an acting gig, and this gives Gladys second thoughts about blackmailing her. Gladys is back-and-forth-and-back-again trying to placate Chandler’s affections for her, Connie’s affections for her, and Haggerty’s nasty deeds.
Connie and Gladys party with a casting director, who tells Gladys he’s got a part for her in a big-budget summer blockbuster. Gladys is beaming. But it’s the role Connie has been pining – and scheming – for, and Gladys just edged former favorite Connie out of it. Connie is shattered, and she’s looking to ease the pain. She’s about to go off the wagon. Haggerty is relieved. Gladys finds Connie is a desperate state. She tells her everything, about the setup, Chandler, her trying to tempt her. Gladys has a proposition: Connie drops the suit, Gladys backs out of the role. Next we see is the movie being played, with Connie in the female lead. In one scene she ‘s barking out orders as she commands some stupid-looking army as they battle CGI monsters. “Aye captain,” responds one of her officers, played by Gladys.
Coming out of the movie premiere are Gladys and Chandler, in each other’s arms, stopping as they watch Gladys ham it up for the paparazzi cameras. In the scrum there is one paparazzo who looks haggard and he’s being pushed around by the other photographers: Warren Haggerty.
Libeled Lady: Celebrity is a hard sell
Next up: The Thin Man (1934)