Recap + Giveaway: Passionflix + Alessandra Torre's HOLLYWOOD DIRT
Passionflix has made headlines for giving romance readers what they crave: live-action versions of their absolute FAVORITE books! Their original productions of Alessandra Torre's Hollywood Dirt, Jill Shalvis' The Trouble with Mistletoe and Sylvia Day's After Burn/After Shock also happen to be perfect viewing for Valentine's Day.
Since we KNOW you are all as wildly curious about these movies as we were, we have a special treat this week: We're recapping Hollywood Dirt AND we are giving away a one-year subsription to Passionflix! So join us on our journey through Quincy, then enter to win your own Passionflix subscription below. Obviously there are spoilers ahead, but you don't care about that since you've already read Hollywood Dirt, right? Right! Of we go to Quincy!
First of all this movie is based on a novel about a novel that is being made into a movie. Is your head spinning? Because mine sure is!
Anyway, the movie is starting so I'll shut up now.
We swoop in on an abundance of cotton crops. A rooster crows.
The narrator lets us know that Quincy is a town of very wealthy individuals. The local business, Crown Cola, made pretty much everyone rich — depending upon how much they invested, of course.
It's this rags-to-riches story that attracts Hollywood hotshot Cole Masten, "The man women think of in the dark of the night."
When we see Summer, she's clearly preoccupied during Sunday service. That is of course until a loud cellphone ring echoes through the church. It seems the Hollywood crew is rolling into town. There is some serious snark directed at Summer about her involvement in the movie.
Rewind to a few months earlier!
A city lookin' fella shows up on Summer's doorstep. He tries to smooth talk her in order to get into contact with the owners of the house she's staying in.
Sorry bud, but you're not getting any information out of this loyal southern belle.
After listening to Ben's spiel and making him sweat a bit, Summer takes pity on him. She's also no fool — if she plays her cards right, she'll become an important component of this production.
When Ben tries to impress Summer by name-dropping and glorifying his hotshot Hollywood connections, she stops him in his tracks. "This is the Old South, bragging is a sign of weakness."
Okay, but this movie is starring the Cole Masten.
Yeah, no. Summer doesn't care.
Summer does this super awesome thing I'm totally going to try where she scares the big important producer into believing no one will help him (unless of course he has a local helping him out). After a quick bargaining session, it's decided that Summer will help ... for a portion of Ben's pay.
And now we're in LA!
Cole is on the set of a talk show. We already know what Cole does not — his marriage is MAJORLY on the rocks. This makes for an extra-awkward moment when the interviewer asks Cole about the elements of a successful marriage.
But Cole is clueless. His main focus at the moment is a pet project. He's turning the inspiring tale of a rags-to-riches town into a movie. Of course, much like Cole's personal life, his professional life also appears to be falling apart. Film production has just begun, but there's already issues afoot. The actress slated to play thew leading lady is blowing off the director, and we all know that ain't good.
Back in Quincy, it doesn't take long for Summer to prove her worth to the production — she gets Ben into the estate he wants. Better still, Summer finally has a friend and confidante in Quincy.
Then the ish really hits the fan. Cole walks in on his wife with her legs wrapped tightly around another man. It's bad enough to learn your wife is cheating, but to witness it? Poor Cole.
Cole doesn't handle it well. He grabs a (honestly very ugly) knick knack and while we don't exactly SEE where he throws it, we can determine it was probably at the amorous couple. Of course, violence is never the answer and Cole soon finds that his emotional response to his wife's infidelity has gotten him into trouble with the town of Quincy. Is he violent? Can he be trusted around the townspeople? They just aren't sure.
Finally we get to meet Cole's wife without her legs wrapped around another man. She's "sorry." Uh huh, yeah. Sure, lady.
Then she goes for the jugular — "I don't love you anymore. I don't know if I ever really did — love you that is. I just loved the idea of you."
We quickly learn that she wants half of the film Cole's pouring his blood, sweat and tears into. Oh, and she also took their lawyer.
Cole drowns his sorrows in a bottle and a woman. Make that two women. What seems like a fun time quickly goes sour when we see Cole's been ignoring his responsibilities — he's late for a meeting and gets chewed out by a prospective divorce attorney.
"If I'm going to represent you, you have to understand that life as you know it is over."
This lawyer means business.
The lawyer — Torre fans will recognize Brad DeLuca from her Innocence series — rips Cole several new ones and tells him it's time to put his head down, head to Georgia and get to work. And so from hereforth he will be affectionately referred to as Mr. Lawyer Babysitter. (And honestly, he is p hot too. Mr. Lawyer Babysitter can boss me anytime.)
Mr. Lawyer Babysitter agrees to represent Cole, but there are conditions: No sex. No relationships. No women. Easy peasy, right?
But as soon as things start looking up, there's more bad news for Cole. His assistant is in an accident. Cole wants to go to the hospital to be by his side, but Mr. Lawyer Babysitter says NOPE. He's not letting Cole anywhere near that media circus.
Back in Quincy, Ben is scolding Summer for not wearing sunscreen while she lounges in a kiddie pool. They are clearly besties now. Then Ben gets THE CALL. Cole Masten is coming, NOW.
Source: Alessandra Torre
Summer bolts out of the pool and runs for the house. She's barely pulled on some shorts when there's a knock at the door. When Summer answers, Cole is standing in the background, clearly prepared to overwhelm Summer with his manly charms.
With Summer clearly stalling on bringing Ben to the door, Cole does that annoying thing when guys are acting all fake-sweet, when in reality they are being condescending dicks. "Would you be a dear and fetch him for us?"
Ugh. Cole, no.
Anyway, there's a problem: Cole's arrived early and the estate he is meant to stay in isn't ready. Mr. Lawyer Babysitter is not pleased.
Ever the unflappable hostess, Summer tries to get everyone settled and offers some sweet tea, but Mr. Hollywood-Hot-Shot Cole wants sparkling water. This is the part where we are reminded Cole is not from around these parts and so he likes "fancy" things. Aaaaand check. Enjoy your tap water, Cole.
Despite being put in his place over what will go down in history as The Sparkling Water Incident, Cole continues to ignore Summer's friendly banter and she calls him on it. She achieves a level of angry indignance I honestly aspire to.
Of course, Cole thinks this is cute. Not smart, my dude. She runs him out of that house threatening his life while she does it. To be honest, I believe her. I start to get nervous that she will actually produce a shotgun.
Little does Summer know that her outburst served as an impromptu audition. Instead of calling the town sheriff, Cole calls his director. He's got the perfect girl for the lead.
Summer and Ben have a good laugh over Summer threatening to shoot Cole. Then Ben breaks The News: Cole wants SUMMER to star as Ida. Those of us who have been practicing our Academy Awards acceptance speeches in the shower for more years than they would care to admit would have immdeiate visions of their names in light. Not Summer. All she cares about it is how much the job pays. Ben tells her to ask Cole since he's right outside in the car. They laugh some more over how scared Cole is of Summer.
Spurred on by the promise of a big pay day that will get her the heck outta Quincy, Summer goes to get Cole. He tells her that the gig will pay $100,000. Cole says this is generous as she's unknown and untrained. I say Cole watched one too many episodes of The Pickup Artist and needs to give up on this "negging" BS already.
Fortunately Summer is not buying what he is selling. She's worth more. She says something that I will be shouting at the top of the lungs till the day I die:
"The amount of money I have is not indicative of my worth."
You tell him!
Summer is asleep when she gets a call from Cole and Ben. "The director is on his way. Impress him and the part is yours."
She throws some clothes on and meets them at the door, offering cobbler. This display of Southern hospitality is very impressive considering Summer was just woken from a deep sleep. Cole, however, does not appreciate it. This is NOT the Southern spitfire he promised the Director.
Cole gives Summer a "What are you doing?" look. But obviously she doesn't get it. Would you? Girl is on her best behavior, as I would be!
Realizing that Summer isn't going to be sassy without some help, Cole follows her into the kitchen and goads her a bit. He insults her cobbler — which is an offense punishable by death, obviously. That gets Summer spittin' mad, which gets Cole very aroused.
Anyway, after screaming at Cole for insulting her cooking, Summer is rip roarin' mad and ready to tell this director a thing or two.
Somehow we are still stuck on cobbler. NGL, I am getting confused. JUST EAT THE DAMN COBBLER. The director keeps making Summer talk about cobbler. It's all pie, pie, pie, cobbler, cobbler. Pie versus cobbler, cobber versus pie. Honestly I cannot keep up. I like both. Does that help?
Apparently this whole Cobbler v Pie presentation is Summer's audition. She threatens the director's manhood for insulting her cooking and that seals the deal — Summer's got the job!
Since Summer lives with her mother, she is here to witness this insanity. Her mom is proud of Summer's accomplishment, but she also sees something that Summer doesn't — Cole looks at her as more than just a co-star.
The following day we learn that Cole is not pleased with the decor of the estate he's staying in. Why are there so many chickens? A man used to getting his way, Cole demands that all the chicken decor be removed. Ha. You have no power in Quincy, Mr. Masten.
Summer sets Cole straight real quick — the chickens stay, you can go.
Cole is really into angry Summer. He grabs her for a kiss and she punches him in the gut. You can't just go around grabbing and kissing people, Cole! Then he's rude about it, because, you know, he's a Hollywood heartthrob so this should not be a big deal. THAT IS NOT HOW THIS WORKS, COLE!
"Kiss me again like that and I'll rip their eyes out form their sockets."
You tell him, girl!
We are really into Mr. Lawyer Babysitter. He's not pleased that Cole hired Summer. He's also not pleased that Cole is still in bed at 8 am. He makes a crass comment about how much pleasure he's already given his wife this morning and now I am jealous because all I got this morning was some coffee ... that I made myself. Le sigh.
After Mr. Lawyer Babysitter hands Cole's ass to him again, Cole gets a surprise — Summer is throwing rocks at his window. He answers the door in his boxer briefs because he is determined to get Summer to notice him, obviously.
Summer just wants to give him a housewarming present. (Please be another chicken. Please be another chicken.)
OH MY GOD YOU GUYS IT'S A F***IN' CHICKEN!!
A rooster, to be a exact. BE NICE TO YOUR NEW PET, COLE.
Summer reminds Cole that it's rude to refuse a gift.
The rooster's name is Cocky. Love this.
Cole goes to the General Store looking for advice on raising chickens. The shop owner has a good time ripping on him. Honestly, Cole can use a bit of humility so we are enjoying this.
Summer still hasn't signed her contract. It is long and full of legalese. The only lawyer she knows is her ex. *rubs hands together* This is going to be SO GOOD.
We learn that the ex's secretary was a bridesmaid in Summer and ex's wedding. Clearly there is more to this story.
Still, Summer manages to win the conversation by casually mentioning that Cole Masten wants her to star in his movie. This is the level of petty I aspire to be.
Later, Summer's mom calls her on her plan. She knows that Summer only took the role to earn enough money to leave town. She wants Summer to know that she understands and supports her decision. Her mother won't be following, but she'll always welcome Summer back to Quincy.
Back to the townspeople, who are terrible, obviously! They are gossiping about Summer and we SO understand why she doesn't want to deal with this. How dare she ask her ex for help? I mean really, ladies, go find the library and borrow a book.
Cole overhears. These women are so mean and I do not like them and OMG IS THAT NATALIE FROM FACTS OF LIFE? *heads to IMDB* IT IS, IT IS! Y'all, Mindy Cohn is a town mean girl and I cannot.
Back to Summer and Cole's sexual tension. When Cole mentions that his assistant is in the hospital, Summer sarcastically asks if he put him there. Have we mentioned we like this girl?
Summer tells Cole she doesn't have a cellphone and he looks at her like she just told him she is from Mars. This seems fair, though I do envy her ability to disconnect.
Meanwhile, the horse of my little girl dreams peaks its head out from behind Summer. OMG YOU GUYS! Summer may not have a cellphone, but she DOES have a beautiful chestnut-colored horse.
Anyway, Cole is unphased by the horse and just wants Summer to get a cellphone. Again, we get this. You are important, Summer! You are a STAR! If you have questions about starting your own Instagram account, hmu, ok?
Cole puts Summer in the back of the pickup. He gives her Cocky to hold. THE CHICKEN YOU GUYS, OMG YOUR MINDS ARE SO DIRTY!
Anyways, Cole is going to prove that this city boy can fix a fence. He's also taken his t-shirt off, because all fence fixin' should be done shirtless, OBVIOUSLY. We get an extra delicious shot of shirtless Cole holding the adorable fluffy chick and my heart is melting.
Finally we get our first glimpse at Summer on set! She may be a natural as Ida, but she's not super comfortable in front of the camera. The photographer makes a snarky remark about not eating. This makes me want to give Summer a double bacon cheeseburger because WHO ARE YOU, LADY?!
Cole swoops in to save the day. He's softened some and he legitimately wants to help.
Summer asks if he's hurting. You know, because of the divorce. You may have forgotten about that because of how Cole has been mooning over Summer.
Cole gives her the PR version of his feelings on his divorce. It's a lie.
But then he's honest with Summer. He confides in her and it's really nice. Then he warns her off ever showing such vulnerability in public. The stone wall he's erected around himself is SAD!
Source: Alessandra Torre
Summer thanks Cole for the pep talk. He tells her to be at his place the following morning to go over the script and then evil photographer lady returns. She is of course rude immediately upon her return and now I want to add a side of cheese fries to that double cheeseburger for Summer.
Summer is late to the morning meeting. The director is trying to call her, but the line is busy.
Cole volunteers to go get her. Rather than drive his snazzy new pickup, Cole runs to Summer's house. Shirtless. That is just how he likes to be, ok?
Summer isn't answering the door. The front door is locked, but the back door is not, so Cole just let's himself in. LOCK YOUR DOORS, PEOPLE!
Summer's alarm clock is blinking 12:00, so no wake up call for her. She is still fast asleep.
Cole whispers Summer's name, but her eyes only flutter. Trying to gently rock Summer awake, Cole places his hand on her thigh, waking her right up!
Their eyes meet. Oh yeah, it's happening, people!
Cole tells Summer that if she wants him to stop, he will. But she so does not want him to stop. I DO NOT WANT YOU TO STOP EITHER, LET'S DO THIS!
Cole begins to worship Summer's body. (Honestly that is the only way I can think to describe the reverence he shows. For real.) Actual, literal ass-kissing happens! The sex is undeniably hot (think R-rated rom-com). You guys, I am blushing. My husband returned home from work about 15 minutes ago and now HIS eyes are glued to the screen too. I rewind because he missed the ass-kissing and it was just so good.
It's over and I breathe a major sigh of relief because FINALLY. But Summer panics. She immediately tells Cole it was a mistake. Cole disagrees, but Summer is upset.
Now Cole is mad. He's actually cruel. He asks, "Is this something you do? Go psycho after you fuck somebody?" Going from tender to giant asshat in a matter of seconds. I am not having this. I get that your wife hurt you, Cole, but this is not okay.
When Summer says that she'd rather not get involved with her co-star, Cole points out that she's not actually an actress. Low blow, man.
Cut to Sunday. Everyone is at church when the production company comes to town. This is the scene we see at the beginning of the movie. We've finally come full circle, YAY! The same snarky ladies from earlier have more to say to Summer because OF COURSE THEY DO. Still, Mindy Cohn's southern accent is quite charming.
Source: Alessandra Torre
Mindy's just mad because the world never seems to be living up to her dreams.
Summer confides in Ben who teases her before assuring her that hooking up with her co-star is SO not a big deal. We are inclined to agree! They are FINALLY going to buy Summer that cellphone she needs so badly.
Ooooh we get to see Cole and Summer in their period costumes for the first time! They're talking about Cocky, who is growing into quite a robust lil' rooster! Summer teases that the rooster will crow at all hours of the day, not just at dawn. You can't believe everything Hollywood tells you.
Source: Alessandra Torre
Summer tells Cole again that she is NOT interesting in him romantically. He accuses her of being a terrible actress. In this case he is correct. We all know you want him, girl.
We get our first glimpse of Summer and Cole acting and we see EXACTLY why Cole wanted her for this role. Summer IS Ida!
Then, of course, Cole has to prank Summer to throw her off guard. "Ida" opens her suitcase of cash and what does she find? A sea of green condoms covering her prop money!
Summer is trying very hard to act professionally and move forward with the scene. The sly look on Cole's face tells us he knows he's shocked her.
When Cole tries to feel Summer up as the camera continues rolling, she slaps him. YES! But also, no. The director is not happy. Summer tells him about Cole's "prank," but he doesn't care. Though this is not at all Summer's fault, she's given equal blame. Honestly I want to scream at the unfairness of it all. BEEN THERE.
Summer storms off set. The director finally calls Cole out for being a jerk to Summer. Of course Cole's full of excuses. He pushes her buttons because making her mad produces better scenes, ok?!
Then Cole sees their on-screen kiss. You know, the one Summer punched him over. The editor and director see the sexual tension between them. They want to exploit it. Cole is hesitant, but ultimately caves.
But don't get too mad yet! Cole's not all bad. There's a chicken coop on set for Cocky and a production assistant tells Summer he's heard Cole even has the chicken sleep in his house! (Okay, you can still be mad.)
Don't expect the good feelings to last long, though. Summer sees a kiss has been added to the script. She is NOT happy. She reminds Cole and the director that there is NO kiss in the book. She reminds them that Ida and Royce HATE one another. Cole of course has a sarcastic come back and really, it's not cute. Stop it.
The director calls Cole out again. He told Cole they should have met with Summer to discuss the change, but Cole wanted to spring it on her unexpectedly. Cole responds by saying a lot of really shallow things that make him thoroughly unkissable.
He angrily asks a female member of the production team, "How hard can it be to kiss me?"
You guys, her response is the best thing EVER:
"It's actually three kisses and a grope."
I want to take this lady out for cocktails!
Filming picks up and actually goes well! Then Mr. Lawyer Babysitter calls. Cole has to wrap up his scene, then get on the next plane to LA.
Back to the script changes. Royce is going to give Ida a car. Cole calls it a peace offering. Summer lays into him because obviously Ida would never accept such a thing.
Cole begs Summer not to fight him because he has to return to LA. Summer sympathizes, but she wants to stay true to the story. This is her HOME TOWN'S story, so we get it!
The director is all FINE, ad lib it, just PLEASE get this done. Oh and also there has to be a kiss.
They nail the scene and the chemistry is EXPLOSIVE. Summer is brilliant, standing up to Royce in a way that would make Ida PROUD. And honestly, Cole and the director were right about the anger creating a natural sexual tension. Royce backing Ida up against that soda-bottle-red car she refuses to accept is a total panty-melting moment.
But Cole must jet off to LA, so any residual tension simmering beneath the surface must be put aside for now. We see Summer taking care of Cocky (he is in a bath tub and I am wondering if that is actually enough to contain a chicken), then a very lonely looking Cole brooding in a hotel room.
Clearly Cole has been thinking about Summer. He calls her. She's sleeping, so this is now the third time Cole has woken Summer up. She is being cooler about this than I would, TBH.
Cole realizes Summer is falling asleep. He calls her on it, asking if she realizes how many girls would love a call from him. Again, I must roll my eyes. Summer has an amazing answer to though, reminding Cole that girls are very different from women. She calls him a belly button ring — (adj.) something girls want when they're young, but grow tired of when they mature. This is seriously the best insult I have ever heard and I cannot wait to use it.
After assuring Cole that Cocky is fine, Summer lets Cole know she isn't wearing a tank top. She was hot. Realizing she's just initiated phone sex, Summer gets nervous and tries to end the call.
NOT HAPPENING, SUMMER!
Cole is into it. He walks her through phone sex, telling Summer she doesn't have to say anything, just touch herself. He asks if she's ever touched herself before. I'm biting my nails, WHAT IS SUMMER GOING TO SAY?
She says yes!
Summer reminds Cole that she's been single for three years. She's got this. Summer is clearly getting the hang of phone sex.
Cole's dirty talk is on point. It also let's us know we can expect more when he returns to Georgia the following day.
The next morning, Cole is preparing for the mediation session with his soon-to-be ex-wife. He admits to his assistant that he's developed feelings for Summer. Mr. Lawyer Babysitter barges in. He wants to know the truth. He NEEDS to know the truth. If this relationship gets out, it could be very bad for the case of the divorce.
At the mediation, Nadia is being unnecessarily petty. You already got what you wanted girl, why so bitter?
Later on, Summer chickens out of her evening rendezvous with Cole. After dealing with Nadia's BS, Cole comes home to an empty house. It's a real low moment.
This leads to Cole lashing out at Summer at work. Nadia's duplicity coupled with the perceived rejection from Summer is clearly more than he can handle.
Then things get worse. Summer is on the cover of a tabloid. The headline? "Rehearsal Dinner From Hell." Everyone is pissed. Once again, Summer seems to be punished for something shitty that happened to her.
Cole tells her tabloid journalists will be swarming the town by the following day. I really just want to know what happened at that rehearsal dinner.
Cole encourages Summer to speak to their PR person. He tells her to take interviews, spin the story. But Summer is distraught. She doesn't want to talk about it.
She starts referring to him as Mr. Masten, clearly trying to distract him with sex. Cole isn't having it. He wants to help her. To support her. But to do that, he needs to know what's going on.
The scene is slightly dim, the colors faded (we are in the past after all). Summer's narrates the story. It's all very Cell Block Tango and I LOVE it!
Source: Alessandra Torre
It's the night before Summer's wedding to that lawyer ex we heard about earlier. He's been sleeping with her Maid of Honor. Everyone knew, yet no one told Summer.
Summer finally found out a few weeks before the wedding. Rather than break things off, she decided to exact revenge AND WE ARE HERE FOR IT! She spikes the crème brûlée with syrup of ipecac. Take THAT, false friends!
This is why no one likes Summer. Cole tells her she doesn't need them and we agree. He also has a proposition: forget everyone and everything. Leave work at work. Join him for the weekend and shut everyone out. He offers to handle the scandal for her. Redemption granted, Cole.
Later that evening, Summer arrives at Cole's place, but she's sans overnight bag. Cole reminds her she's spending the night, then asks if she's hungry because HE IS GRILLING STEAKS. Listen, I love literally ANYONE that cooks for me. So excuse me for the premature panty-dropping, okay?
After a lovely dinner with plenty of talking, tender kissing turns to much, much more. Let's just say I've been using my kitchen island for the wrong purpose for too many years. This is more than just sex and they both know it.
Summer and Cole truly connect. She sees him for who he really is, not the harsh personna he projects to the world. They're clearly so happy in their little bubble and I'm going to have to go after anyone that tries to pop it.
When they return to Summer's house, it's swarmed with paparazzo. Cole kisses Summer right in front of them. He DNGAF! He addresses the press, telling them in no uncertain terms that he LOVES Summer and he has her back, 100.
Summer and Cole are over the moon. Hollywood loves them. America loves them. Quincy's townspeople LOVE THEM. Summer is their new golden child. All is as it should be.
The End ... Well, not quite! We have a one year subscription to Passionflix up for grabs! You must be 18+ and a U.S. resident to enter. Please keep in mind that winners will have to provide a valid credit card number in order to claim the subscription — YOU WILL NOT BE CHARGED.a Rafflecopter giveaway
Still haven't had your fill of Summer and Cole? Check out the Hollywood Dirt trailer: