Two of the best character actors currently working have just signed on for the road-trip comedy Say Hello to Stan Talmadge. Gary Cole will play Stan Talmadge, "an estranged ex-husband who tries to reunite his family with a cross-country motor-home trip to a "Family Feud"-style game show called "Beat Your Neighbor." Jennifer Coolidge will play (what else?) "his boozing, acid-tongued ex-wife." Also along for the ride are Stan's new wife, played by Half Nelson's Tina Holmes, and Talmadge's traumatized daughter, played by up-and-comer Agnes Bruckner. The film takes place in 1979 and the story will use a flashback structure. According to the movie's writer/director David Moreton (Edge of Seventeen), "Stan hopes that by getting his family on TV, it will make them a real family again."
Cole is probably best known for playing Bill Lumbergh in Office Space, one of My Favorite Comedy Villains. Coolidge caught the public's eye playing "Stifler's Mom" in American Pie, and has been a consistent highlight of Christopher Guest's movies. Her "humming" in A Mighty Wind kills me every time. Bruckner did strong work in the indie Blue Car, and was the lead in Lucky McKee's highly disappointing follow-up to May -- The Woods. Talmadge is described by producer Rob Aitro as "a charming indie in the tone of Little Miss Sunshine." At least they're acknowledging the similarities, this thing sounds pretty much like a carbon copy of LMS. I imagine we can expect a lot more of these "wacky dysfunctional family takes a road trip" movies after the smash success of Sunshine.