Among the many sad things about the 2006 murder of writer-actress-director Adrienne Shelly was the fact that she left behind a screenplay that was apparently intended to be her next film, after Waitress, which she finished just before her death. The acclaim Waitress received from critics and audiences throughout 2007 gave Shelly's husband, Andy Ostroy, even more reason to keep her spirit alive by producing the film, and now audiences will have a chance to see it.

The film, Serious Moonlight, premiered at Tribeca in April, and now indieWIRE reports that it's been acquired by Magnolia Pictures, which will make it available through its video-on-demand system in November and release it theatrically in December. Cheryl Hines, who co-starred with Shelly in Waitress and is best known for her work on Curb Your Enthusiasm, directed the project, her first feature film.
The film stars Meg Ryan as a woman who learns her husband (Timothy Hutton) plans to leave her for a younger woman, so she duct tapes him to a chair to force him to work out their marital problems. (One suspects that sort of behavior might be one of his reasons for wanting to leave, but I haven't seen the film.) Dark comedy ensues as the two are interrupted by a burglar (Justin Long) and by the other woman (Kristen Bell). The Hollywood Reporter compared it favorably to War of the Roses, calling it "a nuttily engaging tale of betrayal and, perhaps, redemption," while Moving Pictures Magazine said it "shines by being absurd and heartfelt simultaneously." My review said, "How did I miss the screening when I was at Tribeca? Seriously, what's the matter with me? I should have seen this. I'm kicking myself now." I look forward to amending that review in November.