Not Your Usual Friend Film

Bruce Von Stiers

Emmitt Loverde is a playwright and a screenwriter. He has had his plays seen in over 200 separate performances. Loverde has also worn many hats in film. He's been an actor, editor, director and producer.

Loverde has taken one of his most popular plays and adapted it for film. The stage play is titled Beauty, Brains, and Personality. The film version is known by that name and has also been titled Girl's Night In. It is billed as a comedy / drama. Loverde directed the film.

The film was produced by Dawn Jacobs, who has a special effects company, New Dawn Effects, and Ed Sanders, who has been an auditor at both Orion Entertainment and Fox and producing a few other films.

Maddie is basically the narrator of this tale. The film begins with Maddie telling the audience a little about herself. Then things move to an opening sequence where we meet the three women that the film is about.

Lynette is the smart one of the trio. She has a PHD. Candace is a server in a Hooters type of restaurant. And Jessica is the receptionist at a company. Jessica has always been treated differently than other girls. Somehow her looks have given Jessica a huge advantage. But in reality, Jessica is a bit of a ditz.

Lynette has generally played down how smart she is. This has made for some very awkward situations in her past. Candace has issues that her therapist is trying to help her through. The therapist herself is a hoot, lying on a sofa dispensing seemingly common sense advice.

There are sequences that feature each character separately. Maddie gives up a little bit of information, or insight, into what the audience is about to watch. These sequences include Lynette talking on the phone to a former lover, Jessica at a job interview and Candace at her job.

There are also sequences where the three of them are in Jessica's apartment interacting. Things like doing a magazine survey, sort of like one in Cosmo.

But one gathering ends with Jessica being estranged from the other two. She says that she is the beauty, Lynette is the brains and Candace is the personality of their trio. But that sets such a negative tone that Jessica is basically removed from the friendship equation. And at the same gathering, the audience, Jessica and Lynette learn that Candace is pregnant. We find out she's pregnant from a sperm donor. Maddie makes a point in her narrative about women using phone apps to find boyfriends, so what's so wrong with picking a sperm donor from a photo?

The film also has a few flashback scenes where the audience meets each of the women as young girls. One of those scenes shows how the three of them got together and became friends.

As Jessica continues her life without the other two, Candace and Lynette become closer and both make some life choices that deviate from what Jessica had claimed about them. But are any of them better off not being a trio? A particular set of circumstances brings them together one more time.

The film takes some all too real circumstances and builds both angst and humor into the results. Saying or doing the wrong thing in a friendship can have detrimental effects. But can you really repair the damage and go back to way things were? In real life, probably not. And in this film, things don't go back to what they were. But somehow the relationship between the three becomes stronger.

Alexis Phillips plays Lynette. Alexis has been in several short films along with a recurring role in the series Squad Issues. Samantha Skelton is Candace. Along with a couple of short films, Samantha guest starred in an episode of Mysteries of the Unexplained. And Jessica was played by Tiana Tuttle. American Psychos and Fear Pharm are just two of the several films that Tiana has been in.

Samantha Elizabeth Johnson plays Maddie. Appearing as the young Jessica, Lynette and Candace are Arielle Gottesman, Alexa Reddy and Ella Kendall.

Other actors in the film include Kelsey Bohlen, Bill Mendieta, Reva Rose, Christina Marie Leonard, Jean Mackie, Bruce L. Hart and Diana Angelina. Two veteran actors who make appearances in the film are Taylor Nichols and Tom Schanley.

I really liked Beauty, Brains and Personality. The angst of ruined friendships, the comedic moments and the quirkiness of the characters made this a very enjoyable film.

The film has been very well liked at various film festivals. It won the Best Director Award at the Berkely Video & Film Festival, the Best Screenplay Award at the Die Laughing Film Festival, a Best Supporting Actress Award at the Enginuity Film Festival and an Honorable Mention at the Santa Monica Film Festival. The film is also an Official Selection of the Monarch Film Festival. That festival has been o and the starting dates have not been set yet.

To learn more about Beauty, Brains, and Personality and to find out when it will become available in theatres or on demand, visit

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© 2021 Bruce E Von Stiers