If this keeps up, the Motion Picture Assn. of America may need to come out with a rating of "Z-Z-Z-Z."
At least six movies featuring sleep in their titles are under way, with four shooting this month alone in New York City.
There have been many past sleep titles, including "Sleeping With the Enemy," "Sleeper," "Sleeping Beauty," "The Big Sleep," "Sleepless in Seattle" and this year's "While You Were Sleeping."
Shooting ended two weeks ago on the romantic comedy "Sleeping Together," an independent feature executive-produced by TV veteran Douglas Cramer. The indie comedy "Sleepy Heads" also wrapped recently, and "The Sleep Cure," another indie comedy, starts filming this month. Come Aug. 29, filming begins on Barry Levinson's drama "Sleepers," based on Lorenzo Carcaterra's nonfiction book and starring Robert De Niro, Brad Pitt and Jason Patric.
In addition, producers Paul Junger Witt and Tony Thomas are developing "Sleeping With Twins," a kind of Pygmalion love story, and Scott Rudin is developing "Sleepy Hollow," based on the Washington Irving classic.
In "Sleeping Together," set entirely in an apartment, "we spend an enormous amount of time in bed . . . , not for voyeurism, but rather for illumination of their characters . . . ," Cramer says of the hopeful Sundance entry. The film is about an uptight WASP (Cameron Bancroft) and a free-thinking Italian-American (Caprice Benedetti) who kick off their relationship with a romp in bed.
"It's about a guy who at first can't sleep with anyone. . . . Then, when he finally overcomes that and is able to sleep with this woman, he can't sleep without her . . . ," says screenwriter and first-time director Hugh Bush. He notes that he has been losing about half of his normal snooze time because of this film. "That's what I'm going to do when it's over. I will sleep alone for about a week solid. Then I'll think about maybe sleeping with somebody else."
A one-week doze is the remedy that three discontented subur ban housewives (Elizabeth Rice, Heather Goldenhersh and Sarah Hayes) seek in "The Sleep Cure," from screenwriter-director Patrick Smee ("The Love Machine").
"You see them wheeled into morgue-like drawers, and then . . . you see them waking up," producer Judith Zissman says. "It's really seductive for a woman of the '90s to go off to sleep for a week and not deal with reality."
In "Sleepy Heads," a drug dealer overdoses on a narcotic, Sleepy Head, causing his two friends (Eugene Nomura and Toshiya Nagasawa) to mistakenly assume that he's dead and to drag his body around on the subway in a punching bag so they can toss it over the Brooklyn Bridge.
"Sleeping with Twins," being scripted by Barry Blaustein and David Sheffield ("The Nutty Professor," "Coming to America"), looks at a TV talk show host who falls for one of his guests, whose fiance dies unexpectedly. (One of the broadcaster's shows is about people bedding twins--hence the movie title.)