Happy Hour

Title: Happy Hour
Genre: Drama
Year: 2002
Director: Mike Bencivenga
Writer: Richard Levine and Mike Bencivenga
Producers: J. Todd Harris, Eric M. Klein, and Kimberly Shane O'Hara
Cast: Anthony LaPaglia, Eric Stoltz, and Caroleen Feeney

Set in present day New York, this is the dramatic and emotional story of a gifted writer and the two people who come to understand him best—his best friend who idolizes his talent, and the woman who comes to love him. Once a brilliant and promising literary star, Ryan Tulley (Anthony LaPaglia) now works as a lowly copy editor at an advertising agency in New York City. His nights are spent drowning his frustration with his workmate and best friend, Levine (Eric Stoltz), in their favorite neighborhood watering hole. On one such evening, Tulley meets Natalie (Caroleen Feeney), a strong-willed schoolteacher who matches him drink for drink and quip for quip. What begins as a chance encounter at happy hour becomes a long night fueled by alcohol, laughter and passion. Along with this blossoming romance comes a health crisis for Tulley. This scare drives him to complete his long unfinished novel (a seventeen year project). In a race with his mortality, Tulley stops drinking and uses his biting wit to drive Natalie away, not wanting her to share his pain. But despite his cantankerous and secretive behavior she stands by him. Much to her surprise, Natalie has grown to care deeply for this difficult and brilliant man. The novel fulfills his early promise. It's wonderful but still unfinished. With time running out, Tulley asks Levine to complete the final chapter, the death scene. But as that chapter ends, and one story finishes, two other lives are transformed. Tulley has given Levine a new sense of purpose and leaves Natalie with a loving memory and a new future.