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Do you believe in love at first sight? Is it possible for two people to find each other and instantly know that the search is over? What happens when you find your special someone, but they aren't what they seem to be?
In Paperback Romance, Gia Carides stars as a romance novelist, Sophie, who spends her days writing in the local library. One magical day, Eddie (Anthony LaPaglia) overhears Sophie reading one of her latest stories. He is instantly drawn to her, but both of them have large obstacles to overcome.
Sophie is attracted to Eddie, but she is too shy to accept his advances. She had childhood polio and requires crutches to get around, which causes her to be very cautious with her life. Sophie is completely independent, but fears Eddie will not be drawn to her once he learns the truth about her condition. However, she can't help herself.
Sophie decides to seek out Eddie, but soon learns that he has a beautiful girlfriend. With all seemingly lost, she gets a lucky break. Sophie has a minor accident and breaks her leg, which requires her to be in a cast for several weeks. With everyone believing that her condition was the result of a skiing accident, Sophie sees her window of opportunity and decides to continue her pursuit.
Is Eddie the man of her dreams? Does he have anything to hide? Will he learn the truth about Sophie's disability?
Gia Carides will break your heart. Her character is liberated by the accident and freed from having to explain her condition to everyone she meets. She goes from being a shy wallflower, who lives life through the wild fantasies that she writes, to a powerful, sexy woman. Carides is also very adept at the physical humor she is required to perform, something she takes great pride in.
When the movie premiered a few years ago, she told Hollywood.com, "It was a really strong physical hook to the character, so you kind of get into the brace or the cast. I immediately knew that I was Sophie and not Gia. Definitely it's great as an actor. I work from a very physical place, with all of my stuff," she said. "I have a strong physical connection to the work, so having that was great for me."
If you think playing a woman falling in love with Anthony LaPaglia was an acting challenge, try again. Australians LaPaglia and Carides, now husband and wife, were dating at the time they made the film. Carides told Hollywood.com, "We met at a cocktail party, and it was kind of a little bit cliched romantic," she said. "It was love across a crowded room, it was pretty immediate." The scene was recreated for the film.
Carides said she was pleased to be working with LaPaglia because, "often with work, one of us will get a movie somewhere else, and we'll be apart for a few weeks, that kind of thing. We try and travel with each other as much as possible. This was a wonderful opportunity to get to be together in Australia."
If you want to see more of her work, check out Carides in Strictly Ballroom as Liz and in Primary Colors, where she plays Cashmere McLeod, a Gennifer Flowers-type woman who claims to have had a twelve year affair with the Governor.
The film is very special due to its focus on a female as the lead character and the portrayal of disabled people. In most films with slapstick comedy, Carides' character would not be the center of attention. In Paperback Romance, she gets the opportunity to show her ability and entertain the audience.
I also feel the portrayal of disabled characters is very realistic. Her character and other disabled characters in the film are real people with real lives. While the film centers on Sophie's attempts to cover up her disability, we are more focused on the character and her struggle to win the man of her dreams instead of getting a lesson on what it is like to be disabled.
If you are in the mood for a romantic comedy, check out Paperback Romance. You might also find it under its original title, Lucky Break.
Directed and Written by: Ben Levin
Gia Carides Sophie
Anthony LaPaglia ... Eddie
Rebecca Gibney . Gloria
Robyn Nevin .. Anne Marie
Marshall Napier .George
Jacek Koman . Yuri
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