The Deal (2008) Poster

The Deal (2008)

  • Rate: 5.7/10 total 2,113 votes 
  • Genre: Comedy | Romance
  • Release Date: 20 November 2008 (Russia)
  • Runtime: 100 min
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The Deal (2008)


The Deal 2008tt0848281.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: The Deal (2008)
  • Rate: 5.7/10 total 2,113 votes 
  • Genre: Comedy | Romance
  • Release Date: 20 November 2008 (Russia)
  • Runtime: 100 min
  • Filming Location: Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
  • Director: Steven Schachter
  • Stars: William H. Macy, Meg Ryan and LL Cool J
  • Original Music By: Jeff Beal   
  • Soundtrack: Robbie Bop
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Actor | Hotel | Canoeing | Gourmet Chef | Newspaper Headline

Writing Credits By:

  • William H. Macy (screenplay) &
  • Steven Schachter (screenplay)
  • Peter Lefcourt (novel)

Known Trivia

  • In addition to playing the role of Charlie Berns in the film, William H. Macy also reads the audio book upon which the film is based.
  • When Meg Ryan’s character is looking up the information on what William H. Macy’s character had done recently, she uses IMDb.

Goofs: Continuity: When Deidre and Charlie start arguing in the Czech studio, Lionel and the girl get up and leave – twice.

Plot: A down-and-out film producer agrees to make his nephew's film about 19th century English statesman Benjamin Disraeli… See more » |  »

Story: A down-and-out film producer agrees to make his nephew's film about 19th century English statesman Benjamin Disraeli, but can only get financing if he casts a well-known action star. Production is halted however, when the lead actor is kidnapped, so the producer hatches a scheme with a struggling creative executive to save the star and the movie.Written by IMDb editor  

FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Christine Adzich known as associate producer
  • Jason Berk known as executive producer
  • Patricia Cox known as associate producer
  • Genevieve Hofmeyr known as supervising producer: South Africa
  • Gary Howsam known as executive producer
  • Jody Kielbasa known as co-producer
  • Matt Lane known as executive producer
  • Irene Litinsky known as producer
  • Keri Nakamoto known as producer
  • Gerd Petrik known as associate producer
  • Michael Prupas known as producer
  • Mary Solomon known as associate producer
  • Lewin Webb known as executive producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • William H. Macy known as Charlie Berns
  • Meg Ryan known as Deidre Hearn
  • LL Cool J known as Bobby Mason
  • Elliott Gould known as Rabbi Seth Gutterman
  • Jason Ritter known as Lionel Travitz
  • Fiona Glascott known as Fiona Hicks
  • Sharon Raginiano known as Levi Rosenwald (as Sharon Reginiano)
  • John Carson known as Nigel Bland
  • David Hunt known as Grier Clark
  • Jeremy Crutchley known as Ian Chadwick
  • Natasha Rees-Davies known as Maya
  • Aiden Lithgow known as Skip Miller (as Aidan Lithgow)
  • Kate Blumberg known as Linda
  • Tere Morris known as Catherine Oxenmoor
  • Sean Higgs known as Hans Bleimer (as Sean Aidan Higgs)
  • Adrian Galley known as Andrei
  • Nina Shepherd known as Melanie Lewis
  • Jeanne Neilson known as Claire Johnson
  • Todd Weeks known as Brad Emprin
  • George Jackos known as Howard Draper
  • Neil McCarthy known as Glenn
  • Jose Domingos known as Mark Rovner (as José Domingos)
  • Kenneth Fok known as Wing
  • Brett Granstaff known as Peter the Writer
  • Fred Abrahamse known as Colin
  • Darron Meyer known as KGM Agent
  • Jaymie Carter known as KGM Agent
  • Shawn Tanaka known as Brad's Assistant
  • Anton Voster known as Deidre's Limo Driver
  • Bernard Fisher known as Airport Cop
  • Nikki Jackman known as Entertainment Reporter
  • Christine Adzich known as Entertainment Reporter
  • Jean Wingis known as Premiere Handler
  • Olivia Blumberg known as Girl with Camera
  • Keren Setton known as Girl with Camera
  • Vuyisile Pandle known as Driver
  • Thomas Gumede known as George
  • George Worthmore known as Danny Turner
  • Natalie Becker known as Gabriella
  • Sydney Hall known as Bobby's Assistant
  • Christopher Clark Gates known as American Ambassador
  • Leslie Mongezi known as Embassy Assistant
  • Tyrel Meyer known as Fiona 'Stunt' Double
  • John Van Zyl known as Bobby's Trainer
  • Tyrone Keogh known as Bagel PA
  • Susan Lloyd-Roberts known as TV Reporter
  • Mmatjatji Ramaphala known as Camera Assistant
  • Mudi Mudau known as South African Airways Rep
  • Nik Rabinowitz known as Lead Carpenter
  • Matthew Dylan Roberts known as Vladimir
  • Julia Anastasopoulos known as Camera Assistant
  • Peter Vavruch known as AD
  • William Richard Nasson known as House Speaker
  • Dawie Ackermann known as Man on Plane



Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • Talia Barak known as makeup artist
  • Tina Earnshaw known as makeup artist: Ms. Ryan
  • Maria Gouveia known as hair stylist
  • Barbara Olvera known as hair stylist: Ms. Ryan
  • Megan Tanner known as key makeup artist (as Meg Tanner)
  • Leon von Solms known as key hair stylist

Art Department:

  • Lucille Doman known as graphic designer
  • Storm Dyssell known as standby props
  • Brian Glaser known as assistant construction manager
  • Patrick O'Connor known as set designer
  • Gary Smith known as property master
  • Brendan Smithers known as construction coordinator
  • Lisa Van Der Merwe known as art department coordinator
  • Mark Walker known as set dressing leadman




Production Companies:

  • Peace Arch Entertainment Group (presents)
  • Muse Entertainment Enterprises (production)
  • Dog Pond Productions (in association with)
  • Sydnyk Works (in association with)
  • Berk/Lane Entertainment (in association with)
  • Moonlighting Films
  • SODEC (with the participation of)
  • Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit (CPTC) (with the participation of)
  • The Department of Trade and Industry of South Africa (with the assistance of)

Other Companies:

  • Arpix Media  music supervision
  • Brand-in Entertainment  product integration
  • CIBC  interim financing provided by
  • Film Finances Canada  completion guarantor
  • Premium Sound  post-production sound services
  • Runway  post-production
  • Stunt Network  stunts
  • Tattersall Sound  picture editing facilities


  • Moonlight Films (2008) (Netherlands) (theatrical)
  • Peace Arch Releasing (2008) (USA) (theatrical)
  • Argentina Video Home (2009) (Argentina) (DVD)
  • Film1 (2009) (Netherlands) (TV) (limited)
  • Front Row Filmed Entertainment (2009) (United Arab Emirates) (all media) (Middle East)
  • IPA Asia Pacific (2009) (Taiwan) (all media)
  • IPA Asia Pacific (2009) (Thailand) (all media)
  • IPA Asia Pacific (2009) (Vietnam) (all media)
  • Luxor Entertainment (2008) (Russia) (all media)
  • One Movie (2010) (Italy) (all media)
  • Peace Arch Films
  • Peace Arch Home Entertainment (2009) (Canada) (DVD)
  • Peace Arch Home Entertainment (2009) (USA) (DVD)
  • Scanbox Entertainment (2009) (Finland) (DVD)
  • Scanbox Entertainment (2009) (Sweden) (DVD)



Other Stuff

Special Effects:

  • Vision Globale (digital visual effects) (as Citelab/Global Vision)

Visual Effects by:

  • Eve Brunet known as visual effects producer
  • Daniel Gaudreau known as digital compositor
  • Hugo Léveillé known as digital compositor: Vision Globale
  • Frederic Milot known as digital compositor
  • Benoit Touchette known as visual effects production manager

Release Date:

  • USA 22 January 2008 (Sundance Film Festival)
  • USA 7 March 2008 (Nashville Film Festival)
  • USA 4 April 2008 (Sarasota Film Festival)
  • USA 5 April 2008 (Philadelphia International Film Festival)
  • USA 14 June 2008 (Maui Film Festival)
  • USA 21 June 2008 (Nantucket Film Festival)
  • Canada 10 July 2008 (Just For Laughs Film Festival)
  • USA 30 July 2008 (Traverse City Film Festival)
  • USA 26 October 2008 (Tallgrass Film Festival)
  • Russia 20 November 2008
  • Poland 15 December 2008 (DVD premiere)
  • Sweden 14 January 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • Finland 16 January 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • USA 14 February 2009 (San Diego Jewish Film Festival)
  • Hungary 17 February 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • Iceland 19 February 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • Brazil 26 March 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • Netherlands 7 April 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • Australia 5 August 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • Portugal 12 November 2009
  • Argentina 18 November 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • Germany 3 December 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • Japan 18 December 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • Italy 28 April 2010 (DVD premiere)
  • France 21 September 2010 (DVD premiere)

MPAA: Rated R for sexual content and language



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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Posted on March 30, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , .


  1. wmjaho from Park City
    30 Mar 2012, 10:04 pm

    The Deal is a wacky and frenetic Hollywood insider movie about a movie,in the spirit of Altman's The Player or Mamet's State and Main. Writtenby and starring the extremely talented William H. Macy and directed byhis long-time friend and veteran TV movie director Steven Schachter,The Deal is part vanity piece, part industry insider self-indulgenceand wholly funny.

    Macy plays Charlie Berns, a one-hit wonder Hollywood producer with nomoney and no prospects and on the verge of suicide. Interrupting hisplans is his nephew Lionel (Jason Ritter), who knocks on his door atthe propitious moment, carrying his script about Benjamin Disraeli andlooking for Uncle Charlie's help in Hollywood. Ignoring the script,Charlie returns to his morbid task, only to spot an article about ablockbuster action-hero movie star (L.L. Cool J) who has recentlyconverted to Judaism and is looking for a Jewish film for his nextproject. Seeing a glimmer of hope, Charlie hatches an outrageousseat-of-your-pants scheme to coerce a studio into approving thispreposterous pairing. Assigned to the project is Diedre Hearn, asecond-tier studio exec (played by Meg Ryan, still trying to transitionfrom her girl-next-door pedigree). Charlie is smitten, and resurrected,"Ben Disraeli – Freedom Fighter" gets green-lighted and the fun begins.There's even a role for Elliott Gould, playing a rabbi who serves as atechnical adviser and "Assistant Producer" to the film! I guess Macydecided that at 57 if he was ever going to play a leading man, he wasgoing to have to personally drive the project. And he has writtenhimself a plum role—a multi-dimensional character with a lot of funnylines and Meg Ryan as a love interest! Charlie Berns has suffered allthe indignities that Hollywood can dish out. But he's learned enoughtricks, and developed enough chutzpah that with a little luck he canreally work the system. Macy plays the role with unflappable charm andimpeccable comic timing.

    The script bounces around a bit, and probably bounces a couple of timestoo many. The "resolution" feels a little like an add-on, and perhapscould have been left out. So while I doubt this movie will do greatthings at the box office, it certainly entertained the Sundance crowd.

    Sundance Moment: Macy told the long story of how difficult it was toget the project funded, which is a recurring Sundance (and Hollywood)theme. They passed out red yarmulkas to the crowd, and many wore themwhile watching the movie.

  2. amish from Jerusalem, Israel
    30 Mar 2012, 10:04 pm

    Just saw the film tonight at the 25th annual Jerusalem Film Festival,screened in the "Jewish Experience" category. This is of course notsurprising since the film is hugely fun, mixing Judaism/Israeli aspectsinto a wonderful satire of Hollywood filmdom. Don't take this film tooseriously, although the acting is wonderful, with everyone clearlyknowing it's all in fun. Despite that, I really got into the 'vibe' ofthe story, waiting to see whether they'd manage to finish making thefilm – whichever one it'll be. The whole Jewish angle of the film is ofcourse especially fun for us here in Israel, and even more so becauseIsraeli actor Sharon Reginiano plays Levy the director and inserts allsorts of comments in Hebrew which may be lost to non-Hebrew speakers,even if they are translated. The film reminded me very much of "TheHebrew Hammer" (2003) with Adam Goldberg which I saw at the JFF of thatyear. Both films use the Jewish/Israeli/Hebrew slants to the max andare extremely tongue-in-cheek, satirizing their respective genres.Don't over-analyze or dissect this film – just see it for what it is, afun satire of Hollywood movie-making and all it involves. Don't know ifthis'll catch on in the overall US/worldwide markets, but we here sureenjoyed it. And if it does go straight to DVD, no matter – just enjoyit that way!

  3. steve0557 from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 10:04 pm

    Not funny huh… "Benjamin Disraeli? What happened to Tony Blair?" -"…she throws like a girl!!" – "Hey guys thanks much, you're fired,great input though" – "….colonel America" – "…if you circumcisedthis movie it still couldn't be Jewish." – "…that's Bobbie's trailer,that's his gym and that's his mobile temple." LL Cool J in a Yarmukuhover a Du Rag: Moderately hysterical. William H. Macy's bare butt:Hysterical. Meg Ryan's choices in footwear: Priceless. Especially whencompared to some other so called romantic comedies I've seen recently Iwas pleasantly surprised and entertained by this movie. Besides,Elliott Gould can make me laugh by just reading the phone book.

  4. markymnstr ( from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 10:04 pm

    From a business perspective, in some ways I can understand why thismovie is going direct from the film festivals straight to DVD. It'ssmart, funny, engaging, and even takes time to poke fun at itself. Andwith a marquee cast of Meg Ryan and William Macy a theatrical run wouldhave probably sucked up a lot of speculative investment dollars thestudio didn't have or wasn't willing to risk.

    In the last month or so I've seen "Body of Lies," "Eagle Eye," "TheChageling," "Ghost Town," "Happy-Go-Lucky" and "Burn After Reading,"and to my amazement, "The Deal" is probably the most overall satisfyingwatch of them all. My expectations were limited, so not expecting muchis a good way to be pleasantly surprised. And I was. Very! William H.Macy and Steven Schacter have written a lot of television moviestogether but this was their first theatrical stab. And they hit a bullseye. Admittedly, it's a movie about a movie, and it's not going toappeal to Joe the Plumber or Joe Six-pack. But you don't have to be aHollywood insider to feel the chemistry, get the humor, or root for theromance. The characters were plausible. The relationships were genuine.And the humor was biting. Meg Ryan and William Macy are near the top oftheir comedic game and they deliver in an unexpectedly satisfying way.

    BTW, Macy and Ryan are listed way down the cast totem pole in thecredits, but they are the main star vehicles that drive this film andkeep it moving. Macy has a commanding comedic touch he nurtured in"Fargo," and adds a sprinkle of tragedy he borrows from "The Cooler."And Ryan, rekindled her spark from "You've Got Mail" and deliversprobably her most satisfying performance since.

    Really, for movie lovers, a pleasant, satisfying and completelyunexpected delight.

    P.S. I checked 'spoiler' alert as a precautionary measure. I don'tbelieve I gave anything away.

  5. Robert J. Maxwell ( from Deming, New Mexico, USA
    30 Mar 2012, 10:04 pm

    Every once in a while another movie about movies comes out –metamovies. Truffaut's "Day For Night" was pretty good. "Bowfinger" hadits moments. "The Deal" ought to be the comedy that it strives so hardto be but doesn't quite make it.

    Producers William Macy and Meg Ryan hire an Israeli director to make anaction movie that was originally written as a biography of BenjaminDisraeli. The picture is to be shot in South Africa. There are myriadsubsidiary characters I won't bother to name or describe.

    The action hero, a kind of black, Jewish Rambo, is kidnapped by anextremist political group and the studio tells Macy and Ryan to "shutit down and salvage what you can." They take this to mean they can moveto Prague, where the studio has some frozen money, and revert to theoriginal script about Disraeli.

    Granted it doesn't sound too funny and it's not. That's a shame in away because they've got some talent in front of the camera, and notjust high-end stars like Macy and Ryan.

    But the script, by Macy and Schachter, is weak, in that it's deficientin laughs, or smiles even, and there aren't any characters toparticularly care about.

    The direction and editing need some seasoning. There are too manycutaway shots to spectators gaping open-mouthed at the goings on. Somegags depend on the viewer's knowledge of the rudiments of Judaism. Abook is entitled "The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Talmud." I don'tknow that, even today, the casual viewer in America's Heartland isgoing to get a joke like that, or like the director's insistence thateveryone on the set wear a yarmulkah. They'll go over well on theCoasts.

    I got the gags but didn't find them too amusing. The film simply amblesalong with characters making shocking statements or doing outrageousthings mostly in deadpan. It's confusing too. When the film within thefilm finally wrapped, it came as a surprise to me because I didn't knowthe production was that far along.

    It's not an insulting movie in any way, it's just not what it wasintended to be. Too bad. "State and Main" is funnier.

  6. chf_2258 from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 10:04 pm

    No, this movie was not vying for any major awards or trying to teachlessons about humanity. But if you want to get a mostlyentertaining/mocking look at the making of a movie and the peopleinvolved you could do worse. Macy didn't quite pull off his witty,wise, and blithe (?) character but he is still fun. The rest of thecast hold their own as well(I've never seen much of LL but he wasgood). Along with the over-the-top characters(Soapdish comes to mind)you may enjoy the not so mainstream humor. I did and I'm sure I mayhave missed some of the jokes. So for a movie that I happened uponwhile surfing I was satisfied.

  7. jlck-1 from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 10:04 pm

    This star-studed film from Steven Schachter (director of the Emmy awardwinning TV film Door to Door) is an interesting film with a diversecombination of comedy and action. The Deal features many well knownactors including William H Macy (Fargo), Meg Ryan (When Harry MetSally), LL Cool J (Last Holiday), and Jason Ritter (TV's Joan ofArcadia). This film is a new inside look on the Hollywood scene andshould not be missed. I've always been a fan on films about Hollywoodand this is one of the more interesting takes on that. I'm also a fanof the every day man acting in William H Macy's. I know he put a lot ofwork into getting this film out, which wasn't released in theaters.It's now available on DVD so I recommend checking it out.

  8. Jay Harris ( from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 10:04 pm

    There have been many films about making movies,some serious,some funny,many were satires. The Deal is a satire, but with a slightly differentslant. I will not give away the clever twist, except to say,It isimpossible to imagine the concept of a Black action movie hero playingBritish Prime Minister Benjamin Disreali,with the blessings of an onset Rabbi.. This is just the first part of the craziness..

    LL Cool J-is the actor playing Disreali & believe it or not this comesacross as fun & not offensive. Cool J is a gifted actor.

    The crazy screenplay was written by Wm H Macy,who is also the star ofthe film, & Steven Schachter. who also directed.

    Movies today have many types of producers, Macy & Meg Ryan are the 2involved with the day to day shooting. They also fall in love.

    Elliot Gould is the on set Rabbi, and his comic timing is as usualperfect.

    Jason Ritter as the writer of the play is a fine comic like his lateDad.

    All the acting is first rate. The film runs fast, Comic, farce satiresshould run fast, the audience is not to be allowed time to think howsilly the story really is.

    Location shooting was in Prague & South Africa.

    NOTE: this is not a great movie, it was shown at various festivals &Sundance last year & now on DVD. It id however pure fun.

    Ratings: *** (out of 4) 81 points (out of 100) IMDb 7 (out of 10)

  9. peterweisz ( from West Palm Beach, Florida, USA
    30 Mar 2012, 10:04 pm

    In the tradition of Blake Edwards' "SOB"in the 1980s and Tim Robbins'"The Player" in the 90s, now comes William H. Macy's 2008 Hollywoodsend-up set piece, "The Deal." Despite being saddled with a washed outand forgettable title, this gem is so loaded with wit and side-longwinks, you can overlook the mistakes the marketing mavens made — suchas deciding not to promote this film's theatrical release. Like MegRyan's character, Deidre, says as the movie-within-a-movie wraps: "Evenif this goes straight to video, it was worth it." That's for sure.

    Macy, who co-wrote the screenplay,reserves the film's most memorablelines for his character, the self-destructive schnook with courage andheart of the MGM lion. "Hey, we're in the entertainment business,right? So, I'm entertaining myself!" The Jewish riff is done to aT…as in Tallit and T'fillin. Watching LL Cool J, with a yarmulke onhis do-rag spouting Yiddish as he rescues a Torah from an explodingtemple caused me to pish myself. The film is populated with theexpected coterie of Hollywood archetypes and stereotypes: The elderactor who can't remember lines, the prima dona director, the countryclub Rabbi, the cut-throat suits, agents and assorted debaucheddenizens of the film industry. Macy delights in skewering them withouta shred of nastiness.

    The cast is well directed and in top form. No one phoned in aperformance on this set. Even Meg Ryan seems to recapture some of heryouthful ingenue-ishness making the quirky romance between hercharacter and Macy's totally convincing. Elliot Gould's turn as theAssociate Producer / Rabbi is as tasty as cream cheese on a toastedbagel.

    I haven't laughed out loud this much at a screening since "The LovedOne" and that's been a really long time.

    As they say, You don't have to be Jewish to enjoy "The Deal," but itdoesn't hurt.

  10. leegaccmovies from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 10:04 pm

    I recently saw this film, and once again, William H. Macy does notdisappoint. He portrays these saddened characters so well (among hisother great portrayals), and this film is no exception. I'm a huge fanof films within films/Hollywood satires, so The Deal fit right in. Thefilm portrays a struggling, suicidal screenwriter who wants to go outwith a bang, but during his final project, he finds new hope andstrength to continue. LL Cool J is just hilarious as the main actionstar/method actor. His scenes stand out the most. But the film'sdialogue is great, as well as the movie within a movie, a film based onBenjamin Disraeli but with a twist. I won't spoil anything else, exceptto say it's well worth the viewing if you love movies, William H. Macy,or more movies.

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