Many former Central New Yorkers carry their homeplace in their heart. Take Todd Slater. Raised in Central New York, he's now in California; living in Marina Del Ray and working in Hollywood. He's in the movie business by way of politics in Washington D.C. and then the world of high finance.
"Everybody Wants To Be An Italian (EWTBAI)" is his first film project with his new company, Asgaard Entertainment. Slater brokered an acquisition with Roadside Attractions and Lions Gate Films to release the film on Sept. 5. Guess where? In and around CNY, and more specifically at the Carousel Center in Syracuse.
"This is a film that I thought would be a fun, relevant movie to bring to Upstate New York," Slater said from his office in Beverly Hills. "Upstate, and Syracuse in particular, is filled with such a strong ethnic base and powerful Italian heritage. The director and the entire team thought that Upstate New York would be an ideal location to open the film."
Plot and players
EWTBAI was inspired by its director, Jason Todd Ipson's own experiences of living in Boston and eventually marrying his Italian wife. Early screenings are comparing its energy to the surprise hit, "My Big Fat Greek Wedding."
Everybody tells the story of Jake (Jay Jablonski- next seen in "Kids in America"), a lovelorn fishmonger who gets involved in a hilarious case of mistaken ethnicity. It's been eight years since Jake's girlfriend left him, and despite the fact that she's now married with three children, he refuses to move on. Fed up with their depressive pal's unwillingness to let go of the past, Jake's friends (John Enos III of "Melrose Place" fame and John Kapelos) set him up on a blind date with a beautiful Italian woman (Cerina Vincent of "Two and a Half Men"). Though Jake is convinced that such a woman would never consider dating a non-Italian, a quick crash course in how to fake it may prove just the trick to helping him learn to love once again.