America's Sweethearts (2001) - Synopsis

America's Sweethearts synopsis header

A winsome salute to classic comedies, Revolution Studios' America's Sweethearts brings together an award-winning ensemble cast to deliver a romantic comedy set against the backdrop of contemporary behind-the-scenes Hollywood.

The talented ensemble cast is led by Academy Award® -winning actress Julia Roberts, Billy Crystal, Catherine Zeta Jones, John Cusack, Hank Azaria, Stanley Tucci, Christopher Walken, Alan Arkin and Seth Green. Stepping back behind the camera is director and Revolution Studios founder Joe Roth.

In America's Sweethearts, Kiki Harrison (Julia Roberts) is the devoted personal assistant to beautiful, narcissistic megastar Gwen Harrison (Catherine Zeta Jones). She also happens to be Gwen's sister. Life with her famous sister has never been easy for the awkward and self-conscious Kiki, but it's about to get even harder since she's agreed to help Gwen and her estranged actor husband Eddie Thomas (John Cusack) reunite for one last public appearance to promote their latest movie.

Veteran press agent Lee Phillips (Billy Crystal), on the brink of being replaced by his younger protégé, is put in charge of masterminding this highly anticipated event. With Kiki as his secret weapon, Lee just might make this weekend go off without a hitch.

Unfortunately, it's an illusion-there's no love lost between these snippy "Sweethearts" after nine hit movies together and a calamitous 18-month separation prompted by Gwen's affair with her Spanish co-star, Hector (Hank Azaria).

At first it seems Lee and Kiki's biggest challenge is to maintain the peace between Gwen and Eddie and keep their high profile public image intact, but soon Kiki finds she's faced with a more important concern as her longtime friendship with Eddie surprisingly begins to take a romantic turn.

"It's a fairy tale," says director Joe Roth of the movie. "It's a Cinderella story that the audience can experience through the character of Kiki, a very real person swept up in the glamorous world of a sort of crazy Hollywood royalty.

But there is a universality to the story that everyone can relate to," he continues. "Everybody has been in a situation with family or friends where they have a difficult time getting the attention they need. "

Producers Susan Arnold and Donna Arkoff Roth echo those sentiments. "America's Sweethearts is a classic comedy in an old-fashioned sense but with a very modern twist," says Arnold. "It's classic because you have a group of hilarious characters coming together at one time for an event like a movie's press junket, yet you have the romance between Kiki and Eddie as the anchor to the story. "

Revolution Studios presents a Columbia Pictures release, a Roth/Arnold Production, A Face Production, America's Sweethearts, directed by Joe Roth. Billy Crystal, Susan Arnold and Donna Arkoff Roth produce. The screenplay is written by Billy Crystal & Peter Tolan. Executive producers are Charles Newirth and Peter Tolan. Director of photography is Phedon Papamichael A. S. C. , production designer is Garreth Stover, editor is Stephen A. Rotter and costume designer is Ellen Mirojnick. Julia Roberts' costumes are designed by Jeffrey Kurland. Music is by James Newton Howard and music supervisor is Kathy Nelson.