One film, one actor, and one studio touched my life
by Jennifer Cott
I was a talent manager for several years in Los Angeles. After a few years, I decided to close my management company, take my knowledge of the film industry and flair for writing, and join them to become a film critic.
Stephen Farber had been teaching both my film review, as well as my sneak preview class. Mr. Farber and I had lunch one afternoon in 1996. I had previously told him that I had multiple sclerosis, and at lunch he recommended, if it wouldn’t be too much for me to handle emotionally, an art house film that Gramercy Pictures released, called Go Now starring Robert Carlyle. I had been a great admirer of Carlyle’s previous work.
Undaunted by Farber’s caution, I went to a matinee of said movie, expecting a pleasant experience. Mr. Carlyle did not disappoint. In fact, he exceeded my expectations. Carlyle plays Nick, a soccer player in Scotland, who meets Karen, the two fall deeply in love and soon move in together. Nick begins to shows several strange signs that do not go unnoticed by Karen. Through a series of events, and Karen’s research, doctors soon discover that Nick has multiple sclerosis. Robert Carlyle could not have done a better job, if he actually had the disease himself.
The people in the theater must have known that something was up because I was so touched and affected, and I was bawling my eyes out. Both out of fear and of Nick’s courageous fight, as well as Karen’s unwavering love. Once the movie was over, and I had collected myself, I headed home to call Gramercy Pictures publicity department.
I asked them if they had any idea when the film might be released on video. I explained that I had MS, had seen the movie, and was so moved and taken with it, that I wanted to get a couple of copies to give to my family and friends, so they could get a better understanding of what I go through emotionally, and physically.
The studio was extremely kind, and as I expected, they really didn’t know the video release date, since the film had just been released. They took my information anyway, and said they would let me know as soon as they did. I thanked them profusely, and hung up.
Early the following morning, I awoke to the buzzer from the lobby of my building. When I answered, they said what I thought was ‘pharmacy delivery’ and I buzzed them in. When the gentleman came to my door, he handed me a thick bulky, manila envelope. I thanked him, and confused, I stared at the package, and, wondered what kind of medication this could be.
I turned the package over only to see that the label was none other than Gramercy Pictures. Inside were two VHS copies of Go Now! In a slight state of shock, I immediately called the PR office at Gramercy. Falling all over myself full of gratitude, I explained to them that in Hollywood, people just don’t do that!
Today, the videos have been burned onto DVD, and have a special place, both in my film collection, as well as in my heart.