Oh, how far we’ve come from the dark days of rampant homophobia. But teenager Lloyd Cooper (Jason Dolley) may think society—or at least his mother—has progressed a bit too far on this topic. Lloyd’s mom Maggie (a hilarious Nia Vardalos) says she would not only accept a gay son, she actively encourages it, as it would be “really cool” to have one. In fact, Maggie becomes so convinced that Lloyd himself is gay that she “outs” him to his entire high school. Like any good “helicopter mom,” who hovers over every aspect of her children’s lives, Maggie takes control of Lloyd’s social life, setting Lloyd up on dates with boys whom she has approved and filing for a gay student college scholarship. There’s just one wrench in her grand plans: Lloyd doesn’t even know whether he’s gay or not. But the mother is willing to accept her son for who he is—or at least who she thinks he is.
The film shows, in uproarious fashion, how an overabundance of understanding, however well-intentioned, can be almost as stifling as narrow-mindedness.-SIFF
Nia Vardalos was born on September 24, 1962 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada as Antonia Eugenia Vardalos. She is an actress and writer, known for My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002), Connie and Carla (2004) and I Hate Valentine’s Day (2009). She has been married to Ian Gomez since September 5, 1993. They have one child.
Jason Dolley is best known for starring as ‘PJ Duncan’ in the Disney Channel Original Series “Good Luck Charlie.” A familiar face to Disney Channel viewers, Jason has starred in three Disney Channel Original Movies: “Hatching Pete,” “Minutemen” and “Read It and Weep.” His other television credits include a series regular role in the Disney Channel comedy series “Cory in the House,” as well as a series regular role in Mel Gibson’s ABC comedy series “Complete Savages.” Jason’s feature film work includes a supporting role in “The Air I Breathe” starring Andy Garcia, Kevin Bacon, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Forest Whitaker, Brendan Fraser and Emile Hirsch, as well as the lead role of ‘Marty Preston’ in the Warner Bros. feature “Saving Shiloh.”
Mark Boone Junior
Mark Boone Junior was born on March 17, 1955 in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA as Mark Heidrich. He is an actor and producer, known for Memento, Batman Begins and Sons of Anarchy.
SKYLER SAMUELS, most known for the title character of ‘Chloe King’ in the ABC Family original series, THE NINE LIVES OF CHLOE KING, has been building her following while pursuing her education at the same time. The series followed a normal teenager looking forward to celebrating her birthday just like every other year…that is, until she starts developing heightened abilities and finds herself being pursued by mysterious figures.
Recently, SKYLER starred in the independent films SHARON 1.2.3 and HELICOPTER MOM, currently screening at film festivals. Other recent credits include a series regular role on ABC’s THE GATES, a supernatural series exploring the secrets of a mysterious gated community.
Previously, Samuels appeared in the family film FURRY VENGEANCE, starring alongside Brendan Fraser and Ken Jeong. She was also seen in THE STEPFATHER, with Dylan Walsh, Penn Badgley, and Sela Ward.
Skyler’s previous television credits include roles in several Disney Channel shows, including WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE, THE SUITE LIFE OF ZACK AND CODY, THAT’S SO RAVEN and Nickelodeon’s DRAKE AND JOSH.
Skyler recently wrapped production on the CBS Films’ feature film THE DUFF, for producer McG. The film is based on the best-selling, coming of age novel.
Skyler is currently enrolled at Stanford University, and splits time between New York and Los Angeles with her family.
Kate Flannery is a comic actor and writer, best known for playing Meredith, the alcoholic on NBC’s Emmy winning comedy, THE OFFICE for nine seasons. Kate hosted TVGuide Network’s all female STAND UP IN STILETTOES for two seasons. Her comedy act, THE LAMPSHADES, dubbed America’s favorite dying lounge act,, continues to play Hollywood, clubs, and comedy and music venues across the country (also seen on
Disney Channel’s Wizards of Waverly Place.) Kate’s been a guest, several times
on THE TONIGHT SHOW, THE SOUP, and CHELSEY LATELY among others.
New York audiences have seen Kate in Nora Ephron’s LOVE LOSS
AND WHAT I WORE and as Neely O’Hara in the off-Broadway hit, Valley
of the Dolls at the Circle in the Square.
A former member of Second City’s National Tour Co., she is an original member of Chicago’s Annoyance Theater where she did many shows including the MISS VAGINA PAGEANT and the REAL LIVE BRADY BUNCH (playing over 30 cities and the Kennedy Center).
She wrote regularly for TVguide.com and she’s written pieces seen on the Huffington Post and FreshYarn.com.
Kate is a graduate of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia where her family owned an Irish bar.
No Fairy Tale
Lisa Loeb’s highly anticipated return to the pop/rock world after immersing herself in other projects may be called No Fairy Tale, but it’s actually another charmed chapter of her storybook-like career which began in the mid-90’s. She emerged from the New York coffeehouse and club circuits with her trademark Grammy® nominated hit “Stay (I Missed You)”–the only artist (still) to ever have a number one Billboard pop single while not signed to a recording contract. The multi-talented singer/songwriter, inspired to work with co-producer Chad Gilbert, guitarist and founding member of rockers New Found Glory, stirs up a glorious pop/punk rock sound over the course of 12 tracks that are both coolly contemporary yet rough around the edges on her new musical declaration No Fairy Tale.
A longtime fan, Gilbert emailed Lisa with his idea for a collaborative project. Loeb and Gilbert first worked together when he asked her to sing on his band’s punky version of “Stay” on their film songs cover album From The Screen To Your Stereo Part II in 2007. In 2009, Loeb joined New Found Glory onstage at the Nokia Theatre (now the Best Buy Center) in Times Square for a live performance of the song. Gilbert had received an email alert about a stop on her book tour for the Lisa Loeb’s Silly Sing-Along: The Disappointing Pancake and other Zany Songs book/CD project. “I got the crazy idea to email her to say, ‘I know you do these kids books, but when are you going to let me produce a full-on modern indie pop/rock record for you. You haven’t done one in a while.” Read More
Loeb recalls that Gilbert’s email included the phrase “poppy-punky-rock album,” a concept she was immediately receptive to. He also felt that a recent influx of female fronted groups like Canadian duo Tegan and Sara—whom New Found Glory had toured with—made the time right for the singer to record a raucous, upbeat album with a fresh perspective that would, in his words, “make her sound like it was her first recording ever.” Gilbert adds, “Besides, she’s a character, and her voice has always been so cool and unique. There are a lot of great artists out there, but no one sounds like Lisa.”
Loeb agreed that the timing was ideal. “When he mentioned Tegan and Sara, it seemed perfect as I was very inspired by them and actually listened to their music while writing a lot of recent songs. It’s funny that Chad and I have always gotten along so well. He’s a tattoo-ed up post-punk rocker and I’m known more as a singer/songwriter with glasses, which may seem like an unlikely pair, but it totally makes sense. He brought a whole new angle to my music and it was great to work with many of the musicians he works with down in Orange County (California), as well as Joe Marro and Forrest Kline from the pop-punk band Hello Goodbye, who he enlisted to play keyboards.” With the addition of veteran mix engineer Brad Wood, whose credits include Smashing Pumpkins, Liz Phair and Pete Yorn, the sound of No Fairy Tale soon melded into the perfect balance of Loeb’s past “professional largeness” with the “not perfect but edgy” style she and Gilbert created.
Though she had been concentrating more in recent years on children’s projects and other media endeavors, Loeb brought a cool arsenal of strong new material to her first meetings with Gilbert at her house. Eight previously written Loeb tunes were ultimately chosen for No Fairy Tale. She penned the high energy power-pop title track opener with fellow songwriter Maia Sharp, about navigating the waters of imperfect love—about how living in a real way with the ups and downs of life is better than living a perfect fairy tale life. “Weak Day,” a heartfelt ballad about living through a tough emotional time, was originally written for the acoustic record Loeb was working on. “Sick Sick Sick” has a rollercoaster of rhythmic mood swings throughout that reflects the crazy and unpredictable dysfunction in an oddly co-dependent family. Taking a more optimistic tack, Loeb infuses a playful pop/rock energy into “Swept Away,” a story about a fallen star looking to escape after a downfall. Her ultimate advice: it pays to keep trying. Loeb employs some talk-sing amidst her soaring harmony-laden vocals on “He Loved You So Much,” a song about just who is doing the breaking up.
No Fairy Tale is rounded out with Loeb collaborating with other artists. These include the explosive new wave scorcher “Matches” (with Morgan Taylor); the raw garage rocker “Married” (with Chuck Wolverton), about the foolishness of being the other woman to a broken man in a bad marriage; and the stripped down, folky sad song “Ami, I’m Sorry,” which she wrote with Marvin Etzioni. Loeb and Gilbert wrote another of No Fairy Tale’s key tracks, the 80s new wave pop flavored “Walls,” which Loeb says was like “channeling Patty Smyth and a Molly Ringwald movie” at the same time.”
Loeb’s introduction to Tegan and Sara resulted in her choice to include for the first time ever songs fully penned by an outside writer on one of her solo recordings. Tegan and Sara Quin’s fiery rocker “A Hot Minute” (an emotionally charged “in love and stalking” song) and the encouraging closer “The Worst” (about the way the ugly trials we’ve been through can comfort us down the road) fit Loeb and Gilbert’s overall aesthetic perfectly. Both tracks feature Tegan on harmony.
“To be honest,” says Tegan, “I had no idea that Lisa would ever consider recording songs that anyone else had written. I was overjoyed, over the moon, ecstatic and crazed when I heard she was going to cut a few songs of mine. I grew up a huge fan and remain a huge fan of everything After meeting her I was an even bigger fan. She is so smart and confident. I was just so impressed by her work ethic, her presence and her ability as a writer and singer. I really related to a lot of her stories. It’s not a stretch that something that happened to me could have happened to her. For me, it’s nice after 15 years, to feel a renewed joy and sense of adventure when it comes to writing.”
No single track on No Fairy Tale captures the driving aesthetic of the album like “The 90s,” a raw, stomping, tongue in cheek blister-rocker (penned by Loeb and Gilbert) that includes direct references to making the video for “Stay”—including wanting to make her Betsey Johnson dress shorter and asking shoe designer John Fluevog to “make my platforms a little higher.” “I’m usually more abstract as a songwriter,” she says, “but it was fun writing a story that was more direct and pretty literal about the time.”
Grammy®-nominated singer/songwriter Lisa Loeb was launched into the limelight in 1994 with her platinum-selling Number 1 hit song “Stay (I Missed You)” from the film Reality Bites. Since then, she has enjoyed a successful career encompassing music, film, television, voice-over work and children’s recordings. In addition to raising two children, Loeb is currently working on a new eyewear line, Lisa Loeb Eyewear (in partnership with Classique Eyewear); her second children’s book “Lisa Loeb’s Songs for Moving and Shaking” out April 2, 2013; and No Fairy Tale.
Gillian is known for her role in the HANGOVER trilogy playing Bradley Cooper’s wife, Stephanie. She recently shot a pilot for Amazon called TRANSPARENT (starring Jeffrey Tambor) and had recent recurring parts on FOX’s NEW GIRL as well as ABC’s SUBURGATORY.
Salome Breziner was born in Brussels, Belgium and grew up in Florida. She began her career as a script supervisor on movies and television shows when she was in her late teens.
She wrote and directed several award winning short films before writing and directing her first feature film, “TOLLBOOTH”, starring Fairuza Balk, Will Patton and Seymour Cassell at age 23.
She has written numerous scripts and tv pilots/shows and has gone on to direct: “AN OCCASIONAL HELL”, starring Ton Berenger and Stephen Lang and FAST SOFA”, starring Jennifer Tilly, Crispin Glover, Eric Roberts and Jake Busey.
After taking a 5 year directing break to concentrate on writing, and raising her two sons, Salome directed “THE SECRET LIVES OF DORKS” starring Gaelan Connell, Jim Belushi, and Jennifer Tilly.
She also produced two films in 2013 — “BUTCH WALKER: OUT OF FOCUS” — which was nominated for Grammy award, and “THE GANZFELD EXPERIMENT” starring Rumor Willis and Billy Zane
In 2014 she directed and produced (along with Juan Luna and DORKS producer Stephen Israel) her newest film HELICOPTER MOM starting Nia Vardalos, Jason Dolley, Mark Boone Junior, Kate Flannery, Skyler Samuels, Devon Werkheiser and Lisa Loeb.
Duke was born and raised in Orange County, California. He studied Literature and English at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study in New York University. After receiving a Bachelor’s degree, he worked for a year in France as an English teaching assistant. After returning to the US, he completed the Professional Program in Screenwriting at UCLA, winning the Nate Wilson Joie de Vivre Award for best screenplay. He is attending the MFA in Screenwriting program at UCLA.
Prolific producer Stephen Israel Is probably best known for executive producing the Cult hit “Swimming With Sharks”, starring Kevin Spacey. The film was subsequently shown on the London stage starring Christian Slater and also in Mexico starring Academy Award nominee Damien Bashir.
His most recent release, “GBF”- directed by Darren Stein – was recently released in the United States to broad critical and commercial success, ranking as a “top ten” film on iTunes, after its theatrical release in January 2014, and a festival run of over one hundred festivals worldwide – starting with the 2013 Tribeca FIlm Festival.
His next film, “Helicopter Mom”, starring Nia Vardalos, recently premiered at the Seattle International FIlm Festival, and is just commencing its festival run.
He recently completed principal photography on “Baby Steps” shot in the US and Taipei – set for release in 2015.
Stephen’s extensive production experience includes:
“I Do” (2013) – starring and written by former Brit-pop star David W Ross, was released internationally in 2013, having won 12 best film awards at film festivals worldwide.
“The Secret Lives of Dorks” (2013) – starring Academy Award winner Jennifer Tilly.
“Happiness Runs” (2008), starring Rutger Hauer.
“Boy Culture” (2007) which premiered at the Tribeca film Festival before playing over 80 film festivals and winning multiple awards.
“Death & Texas” (2004) starring Academy award winner Charles Durning.
Stephen’s broad corporate experience includes being VP Strategic Planning at Turner, Senior VP Development at American Cybercast (the team that developed the first episodic series on the Internet, “The Spot”), strategic planning at Warner Bros., and four years with the prestigious management consulting firm Booz, Allen & Hamilton.
Born and raised in the UK, Stephen is also a Royal Air Force marksman and a trained rocket scientist (seriously).
Juan’s work has taken him around the world: Europe, Japan, the North Pole, Africa and now Los Angeles, where he has done more than 25 short films, and 6 features. He continues to develop material under his Lunatic Films banner, and produce films under American Film Productions.