I was inspired to write this script because there are few American films with a multi-dimensional middle-aged woman as the central character. This satirical comedy touches on themes of ambition and survival. Jackie, vibrant and sexy, rebels against the stereotype that aging women are invisible. Her comfortable lifestyle is a contradiction, which rests on shaky ground. When her married accountant boyfriend dumps her, this illusion is destroyed. What then is real in her life?
Second acts are the American way. Jackie finds hers with the rediscovery of a vocal talent ignored since her younger days. Her renewed passion as a performer allows her to discard those elements in her life that have diminished her; a lack of self-confidence and a reliance on an unfulfilling personal relationship. Though music, she connects to a new audience and to her authentic self. Her journey of self-discovery is mirrored in the Long Island City location of Hotel Bleu, set on the edge of a transforming industrial neighborhood.
From the Broadway glitz of Jim Caruso’s Cast Party at Birdland – to downtown Joe’s Pub, where edgier cabaret singers like Jackie Hoffman and Bridget Everett perform – to small clubs in the outer boroughs — the cabaret jazz scene has taken off. Like the characters in Harold and Maude, Jackie, about to hit sixty, — and Jay, not even thirty, form an unusual bond. They fuse an off-beat musical style all their own. Jackie’s “seen it all” wise cracks and Sophie Tucker renditions ignite Jay’s curiosity, while Jay’s sweet and playful nature wake Jackie to the magic of living in the moment and discovering herself as a singer.
Jackie Sands, sexy and smart, a once successful comedian in the tradition of Joan Rivers and Elaine May believes kvetching is her birthright and verbal jousting the audience’s rite of passage. Following a successful career on Saturday Night Live, way back when in the 80s — Jackie’s career slide downhill. Now condemned to play the sleazy comedy circuit — fed up, she blows a comedy gig and is fired by her agent. Returning to her upscale Eastside Manhattan apartment, she finds all her belongings gone as well as her married accountant boyfriend. With her career on the skids — she finds refuge at Hotel Bleu, where she meets Jay, a trumpet player and bandleader half her age. Rediscovering her passion as a performer, she realizes that aging isn’t such a tragedy as long as she can sing the blues.
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