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'Suddenly' a refreshing change for the missis

January 27, 2003|Robert W. Welkos

To American moviegoers, actress Wendy Crewson always seems to be playing a wife, whether it's opposite Harrison Ford in "Air Force One," Arnold Schwarzenegger in "The 6th Day" or Tim Allen in "The Santa Clause" and its sequel. She also played Sam Neill's wife in the sci-fi film "Bicentennial Man," which starred Robin Williams.

But in the Canadian-produced sex comedy "Suddenly Naked," which opens Friday at the Laemmle Sunset 5 in West Hollywood, Crewson plays a "Jackie Collins"-type novelist who falls for a 20-year-old guy.

"It's absolutely liberating," Crewson said of her role as Jackie York, the 39-year-old novelist at the center of the film's story. "She's like a guy, an adolescent boy. She's never really grown up or matured gracefully into her years. She smokes and drinks and sleeps with several fans who come calling. Her apartment is a mess. She eats junk food all the time. That part I loved. You never see women my age get to do that."

"Suddenly Naked," which has been nominated for a Genie, Canada's version of the Oscar, re-teams Crewson with Anne Wheeler, who directed her in the 1999 lesbian-themed comedy "Better Than Chocolate."

Hamilton, Ontario, native Crewson, who lives in Toronto with her husband, actor Michael Murphy, and their two children, said the comedy infusing "Suddenly Naked" is a refreshing departure from most Canadian films.

"Despite the fact that great comedians come from this country and, as a people, I think we are very funny, [in our films] you are always dying in some blizzard somewhere. We don't do comedy on film. We are always battling the elements. It's bleak. There is no hope in our films. We make kitchen-sink dramas where terrible things happen during the winter in these houses."

-- Robert W. Welkos

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