New York International Independent Film & Video Festival, September 9-19, 1999WonFeature Film Award
Best Romantic Comedy

Hawaii International Film Festival, November 6-20, 1999WonFeature Film Award Audience Favorite

Savannah Film and Video Festival, November 6-13, 1999WonFeature Film Award Audience Favorite

Review from the Hawaii International Film Festival:

"Music video director Bill Fishman, known for his work with Hank Williams Jr. to Suicidal Tendencies, brings us his third feature, a hilarious parody of the Hollywood nightlife scene.

"A comedy of near misses with the right people and repeated run-ins with the wrong, DESPERATE BUT NOT SERIOUS is a must see for anyone who loves the Big Orange, and anyone who absolutely hates it too.

"Out-of-towner Lily (Taylor) arrives in Los Angeles to attend a wedding reception with the man of her dreams, Jonathan (Corbett). Aided by party-girl Frances (Brewster), they embark on a night of adventure after the wedding invitation is lost. Their wild romp through the streets of Hollywood in search of the reception, takes them to club after club—including the trendy "Vapor" Room and even into the home of famous actor Darby Tipp (hint: read the name backwards).

"After being thrown out of parties, terrorized by a psycho bartender, and chased by police it seems Lily will never find her man—or will she?"
—Minette Lew

That's as far as DBNS got on the festival circuit, because Elie cashed in and made a deal with Blockbuster for a limited release in their stores that same year. (He then sold it again, to 20th Century Fox, in 2001.) It then opened around the world:


  • USA ("Desperate but not Serious"): 2000 (Blockbuster Video Special Limited Release)
  • Australia ("Desperate but not Serious"): 31 October 2000 (video premiere)
  • Russia ("Отчаянные красотки"): 31 October 2000 (video premiere)
  • Czech Republic ("Honička na chlapa"): 2000
  • Hungary ("Szeszélyes szerelem"): February 2001 (video premiere)
  • Italy ("Troppo pazze... poco serie"): 07 Feb 2001
  • USA ("Reckless + Wild"): 2002 (20th Century Fox DVD and video release)
  • China, including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan (""): 17 Aug 2002
  • Spain ("Una Noche Salvaje"): 8 February 2005 (DVD premiere)
  • Thailand ("วอรัม รัก ก่อนวิวาห์"): 24 February 2005 (limited theatrical release)
  • Argentina ("Desesperada pero no tanto")
  • France ("Desperate but not Serious"): 2008 (re-release)
  • Czech Republic ("Honička na chlapa"): 12 July 2010 (re-release)

Read more international coverage here.

A rave review in the column, THE BOTTOM SHELF #154 (April 3, 2008) calling Paget Brewster "completely in a league of her own:"

For some, you might find this movie billed under the title DESPERATE BUT NOT SERIOUS, as there is a song with that title which plays at the end of the movie. And this is a film that needed to be renamed several times even if it was going to get the hopes of being relegated to the bargain bin at Wal-Mart. But there's only one problem with that. The movie's actually funny. Billed with the image of Claudia Schiffer on the cover (she's not even close to being the lead of this movie) and supposedly starring Christine Taylor in the main role, this movie is all about Paget Brewster and her total Bettie look. That scene girl who spends every single day of her life going out to bars and hoping to schmooze with the right people. It's damn near what it seems like Brewster has had to do in her personal life. Which is an outright f*cking pity because she's completely in a league of her own.

The film focuses on two people who met by chance in Nepal when the guy (John Corbett) was studying bugs and the girl (Christine Taylor) just happened to be there. (I might have missed the reason why, or not really cared.) The guy sends the girl a letter saying that he's leaving Nepal for only one day to be the best man in a wedding in LA and would the girl (who's from San Francisco) come down and meet him there? The girl has a best friend who drives her insane (Brewster) but is just so darn lovably inept that she can't say no when her friend mentions driving past a big Hollywood party before the wedding. The invitation gets lost, the address is hard to find, many shenanigans ensue over the course of the evening (including a great scene with Joey Lawrence playing shitty guitar in his dive of a house, bemoaning the death of Jerry Garcia and slightly cashing in on the "WHOA!" that we remember him for with a "DUH!" instead) and all seems hopelessly lost. In 5 words or less: Never trust a party girl."

I wasn't thinking that this film was going to be very funny. I was looking more to being able to enjoy Brewster than anything else and give her the proper Bottom Shelf treatment that she requires. But I ended up laughing my ass off at some of the incredulous moments in the movie, including this bizarre "We deliver anything in 30 minutes or less" fleet of strangely attired new edition Volkswagen bugs at the "Pink Dot" crew delivered the women safely to the airport in the desired amount of time. Plus everyone in the movie is someone that you kinda recognize from somewhere, bit and character actors which make the entire movie a complete parody in and of itself. From Max Perlich as 'Say No to Todd!' to the late Wendy Jo Sperber as the landlady to Judy Greer, Henry Rollins, Ned Bellamy (the Pink Dot dude, don't say he didn't look familiar), to Richard Edson as the guy who was looking to write the script about working at a convenience store. This is a film to get totally baked to, watch, point, jab your friends and say, 'Hey! That dude! You know, that dude, that dude who was in that thing, remember?' Surprisingly funny. Not perfect, but far better than you might have preconceived notions about."

Favorite Scene:

When the dog is chasing the landlady up the stairs with the giant pink vibrating dildo.

Favorite Line:

The thing about this movie is that you've just got to appreciate it for all the random scenes with people who are just on the cusp of Hollywood popularity. Actors who in their own way are scene crashers. Plus, watch all the way through the credits because the scenes with Brian Posehn and Patton Oswalt talking about the gay nature of STAR WARS is better than any of the other scenes you've watched about people talking about the gay nature of STAR WARS.

Trivia Tidbit:

Yes, that really is Claudia Schiffer singing all of the songs that her character sings in the movie. Yes, her voice really is that naturally bad.

See if you liked:

Anything that involves Paget Brewster, or if you are a fan of watching Henry Rollins look like he's 'roiding out.

Here's a nice review in Eyecrave DVD:

"This film is a throwback to the fun and cheerful indies about twenty to thirty-somethings looking for love and redefining their lives through partying and meeting odd people... The central cast are all strong performers with extensive backgrounds as sidekicks and ensemble players, and the innumerable cameos are hilarious and unexpected."

A rave from the German site,

"Tjekkede Chicks, besides the chaotic lovers' chase, presents a parody of Hollywood's lowliest performers. Everything from Star Wars to personal experiences are discussed by the bit players in the nightclubs and private parties. The Frances character especially is hysterically funny. Frances (the incredibly beautiful Paget Brewster) is confused, clumsy and almost too smart in her hunt for a real role, but has so far gone through low-level agents and movie producers -- and because of her ability as a hustler, there is no party that she can't sneak into, nor a person in town who she doesn't know -- because as she herself says, she may not have a career, but she has a fabulous social life. And in Hollywood, that's almost as good."

"Bill Fishman is the director, and he may have almost had the same start as Frances. The movie seems a little autobiographical, the characters seem real, and despite the crazy action and events, the film seems believable. Of course, it seems a little over-the-top that Lily and Jonathan miss each other every time they're in the same place. The Psychotic Bartender is played strictly for laughs, but thanks to Henry Rollins' intensity, it plays flawlessly. However, the authors should be praised the most because it is their human and funny characters that hold the film together throughout the carefully planned chaos. But it's the ironic tone running through the film that makes Tjekkede Chicks more than just a fun movie."

A 4-star review of the "completely, insanely wonderful Paget Brewster" in MatchFlick:

"I ended up laughing hysterically in moments ... I can't deny that this is a perfect, 'Queue and Bake' movie to watch with friends. Or even imaginary ones. Brewster looking all Bettie, by the way? Totally hot. Just wanted to add that in as well."

Hot Damn! We're on the Female Celebrity Smoking List.

Henry Rollins (who plays "Psychotic Bartender") was interviewed on The Onion's A.V. Club Web site. He told writer Stephen Thompson:

"I just wrapped up a part in the film Desperate But Not Serious with Claudia Schiffer and Christine Taylor and all these beautiful women. Very strange, to be on the set with, like, 20 drop-dead women who have, besides a professional capacity, zero interest in you. And you're just sitting amongst them, and none of them are looking at you. None of them are talking to you. Claudia Schiffer has bodyguards with her. She's real nice; I mean, no one bugged her. She's mellow. I guess she gets enough crazoids running at her in airports, she kind of has to have her big Samoan man around her. So that was fun..."

The interview is now available in Thompson's book, The Tenacity of the Cockroach: Conversations with Entertainment's Most Enduring Outsiders:

Cast members in DBNS wear wear bcbg max azria fashions.

Read all about it at the BCBG Web Site.

New Times Los Angeles covered the wrap party for DBNS. Lisa Derrick wrote:

"Which is a greater stretch -- Henry Rollins as a serial killer/bartender, or Claudia Schiffer as a university scholar who keeps changing her major? Well, you can be the judge with the release of Desperate but not Serious, the latest, greatest movie directed by Bill (Tapeheads) Fishman and written by Abbe Wool.

"Shot for $650,000, the comedy -- which finished shooting last Friday night with a scene in the parking lot of Lumpy Gravy (the techno-supper club was starring as an afterhours called the Black Hole) -- traces the trail of Lily (Christine Taylor) and her pal Frances (Paget Brewster) as they pursue the man of Lily's dreams (an etymologist, played by John Corbett) through Los Angeles nightlife.

"Along the way they encounter drag queens, an alt-rock wedding, and a slew of L.A. locals -- Brent Bolthouse as the groom, John Fleck playing a sleazy producer/agent/manager, Bill Cusack as Trendy Guy, the infamous Pink Dot delivery cars, and the working-very-hard-on-her-character-motivation Claudia "Stanislavsky-Babe" Schiffer as studious party-girl Gigi -- who turns out to be the deus ex machina for the film's happy ending.

"There's also a mysterious elongated object called Big Pink....

Sunday at the Opium Den, Bow Wow Wow played a quick set for the Desperate cast and crew's wrap party. Though supermodel Schiffer didn't show, Rollins did. (This is the second film Hank has shot in the last two months; the other is Warner Bros.' Frost. On top of that, he's got a new book called Solipsist due out August 1, with a CD and long-form video following in September. The last was directed by Modi, an old pal of Fishman and Rollins, who was busily chatting away at the bash.)

"Also in attendance: Cusack, Taylor, Brewster, and other cast members. Except for Big Pink...."


Cast / Crew

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