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Gravitas Ventures Picks Up SXSW Raucous Rom-Com '3,2,1...Frankie Go Boom'

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood June 21, 2012 at 2:57PM

Gravitas Ventures has acquired Jordan Roberts' SXSW romantic comedy "3,2,1... Frankie Go Boom," starring up-and-comers Charlie Hunnam, Chris O'Dowd and Lizzie Caplan, plus Whitney Cummings, Chris Noth and Ron Perlman.
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"Frankie Go Boom"
"Frankie Go Boom"

Gravitas Ventures has acquired Jordan Roberts' SXSW romantic comedy "3,2,1... Frankie Go Boom," starring up-and-comers Charlie Hunnam, Chris O'Dowd and Lizzie Caplan, plus Whitney Cummings, Chris Noth and Ron Perlman.

"3,2,1...Frankie Go Boom" (previously titled without the clunky countdown) marks the first theatrical acquisition for the partnership between Gravitas and Variance Films, and lands on-demand in September, with a limited theatrical run in October.

The film follows Frank Bartlett (Hunnam), a young man who grew up relentlessly embarrassed on film by his brother Bruce (O'Dowd). Now that Bruce is cleaned up and off of drugs, Frank assumes their humiliation-heavy relationship will improve. Well, it doesn't.

Variance founder Dylan Marchetti says of the film: "You’ve got an all-star cast, an errant sex tape, siblings tormenting each other, and Ron Perlman in a dress. Aside from being the key ingredients of a typical Variance holiday party, Jordan has brought all of this together to make the best kind of comedy- the kind that doesn’t pull its punches."

The film got relatively positive reviews from the trades upon its premiere at SXSW:

The Hollywood Reporter:

"Though riddled with credibility-straining coincidences and over-the-top humiliation, Jordan Roberts' Frankie Go Boom plays out with more charm than desperation. Thanks to writer/director Roberts' split-personality approach, in which he tries too hard on the page and then relaxes behind the camera, the family-dysfunction rom-com has some mainstream appeal, particularly with viewers accustomed to It's Always Sunny-style outlandishness."

Variety:

"Hunnam, too, effectively avoids overstatement, even while taking pratfalls and registering panic, and conveys an engaging sincerity that enhances his chemistry with the comely and adroitly comedic Caplan. As Bruce, O'Dowd repeatedly amuses while plumbing the lowest depths of his character's self-justifying egomania. Appropriately enough, Nora Dunn plays Bruce's mom as his No. 1 enabler."

This article is related to: South By Southwest Film Conference and Festival (SXSW), Variance Films, News, SXSW


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.