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Selection for the Weekend of
June 23 - 25, 2000

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      Free Enterprise

Every few years, some star from the past comes back into fashion for the pure kitsch factor. No one exhibits this better than William Shatner. Riding a wave of self-parody, Shatner has emerged from the scrap heap of B-level stars to star in the commercials (and make tons of moolah in a stock deal), steal the show with his appearances on the sit-com Third Rock from the Sun and star in the film Free Enterprise.

Shatner stars as the imaginary friend to a pair of science fiction junkies, Robert (Rafer Weigel) and Mark (Eric McCormack from TV's Will and Grace). They grew up as dedicated Star Trek fans who worship the Captain of the Enterprise, James Kirk, who was played by Shatner. Now that they are adults, things haven't quite worked out in their lives.

Their obsession with Star Trek and other science fiction films hinders their careers and relationships with women. Robert just lost his girlfriend, can't pay his bills and works as a film editor on B-movies, while Mark toils away as a men's magazine writer who wants to make his own films, especially his latest idea, Brady Killer.

One day, they run into their hero while walking through a bookstore. They learn the truth about his pathetic life, and it makes them realize they must grow up. Will they be able to find the strength to become men? Will they make Shatner's dream film - a one man, musical version of Julius Caesar?

The film is a great parody of sci-fi fanatics. The two men embody almost every stereotype about trekkies, right down to the obsession with knowing every episode by heart and seeking the most rare and meaningless memorabilia.

Watch for two performances in this film. The first belongs to Eric McCormack. He plays the more mature friend, Mark, who delivers one of the funniest movie pitches in history when trying to convince the studio to make Brady Killer - a B-movie using every piece of 70's nostalgia possible. Shatner is the other great performer in the movie.

He plays the self-parody with the type of bravado that leads us to mock him. Like Mark, he believes passionately in his new project, a musical, one man Julius Caesar, and even thinks he could give a small part to Sharon Stone. Shatner has come a long way from his temperamental days.

The second half drags a little, but the first half is perfect. I was shocked and saddened to see these losers try the same lines and methods I use to hit on women. Unfortunately, they have the same negative results. I guess I need new material.

Watch out, this one is a little risqué.

Grade: B

Directed by Robert Meyer Burnett

Written by Mark Altman and Robert Meyer Burnett


Rafer Weigel ………………..  Robert

Eric McCormack …………… Mark

Audie England ……………… Claire

Patrick Van Horn …………… Sean

William Shatner ……………..  Bill

Phil Lamarr …………………. Eric

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