“Armed with a filmography from IMDb and my brand new Netflix trial membership, I rented everything I could find starring Laurel Holloman. The theatre-trained Chapel Hill, NC native has worked steadily in the years since her debut.”
~ Debra McCampbell
That’s what we did as well. We scoured Blockbuster, Hollywood Video, eBay, Amazon, and Woolf video for whatever we could find that had been released. We didn’t have eyes enough. We wanted to see whatever was available and released on DVD.
Some of Laurel’s films still haven’t been released, including the first film she made, called Blossom Time. Ironically, this film is owned by Showtime. Even those of us who wouldn’t be caught red handed signing a petition of any sort, signed a petition to Showtime asking them to release the film because there was a ready market for it. So far no luck. Hopefully, after TLW has wrapped its final season, Showtime will have taken notice from Our Chart just how much of a fan favorite Laurel is and will either release the film on DVD or schedule it for broadcast. We live in hope.
There are so many independent and well-made films that Laurel has appeared and starred in, it would not be practical to talk about them all in this small space. Two films we have come to love are Tumbleweeds and Loving Jezebel. Both films showcase the sharp, under-sung comedic talent of Laurel Holloman – which many of us were introduced to in her performance of Tina in S5 and, to a lesser extent, in S1.
Tumbleweeds is Janet McTeer’s film, for which she was nominated for an Oscar. She plays Mary-Jo, a much married and loud Southern belle who only stays in one place long enough to find a man and dump him when the relationship turns abusive.
Laurel has a small but unforgettably hilarious role as Mary-Jo’s coffee-enema addicted working buddy/friend, Laurie, an eccentric southern girl with a sharp tongue and sympathetic ear. All of the performances in this film are uniformly excellent. What Laurel does in her brief but memorable time on screen had us wishing the role were larger, because she makes Laurie intriguing to know and easy to care about as Laurie befriends down on her luck Mary-Jo.
McTeer is a regal and imposing actress and when Laurel is on screen with her, it’s a pleasure to watch them hitting the comedy ball back and forth with ease, perfect timing and pitch, not missing a beat. Laurel does comedy with seeming effortlessness. She makes it look easy, when we all know comedy is hard.
Loving Jezebel was billed as a romantic comedy about a guy named Theo who makes a habit of loving women who are not available, until he meets Ms. Right. The film is a comedy of romantic errors and dumb choices, something many of us can sympathize with and relate to. It holds a certain quirky, fluffy charm, especially in the performances of Hill Harper (Theo) and Laurel as Samantha. Harper and Holloman radiate a delicious chemistry and there is not one bit of preaching about the interracial aspect of their relationship, much like Two Girls.
Laurel plays an unhappily married poet who is the only one in Theo’s life who genuinely loves him. They both share a love of poetry and Chinese films. Once again, Laurel’s knack for comedy shines through. She has a keen ability for depicting a character’s emotions, in this case Samantha’s, not only through the spoken word – but through her comedic facial expressions and gestures. Laurel gets us into not only the head, but the heart and soul of Samantha, who breaks our hearts with the depth of her love for Theo. You cannot ask much more than that from a performer.
“I never wanted to be Zach Galligan before… only Nicole Parker (who played opposite Holloman in Two Girls) ever had it so good, if you’re into smoochies and cuddling, which I like in my movies. I’m old fashioned that way. When Zach and Laurel hop in that hammock in The First To Go, let’s just say, I started wondering if I could live on the royalties from Gremlins repeats on TV.”
~ Debra McCampbell
Hee. We love this for McCampbell’s witty expression of her old-fashioned crush on Laurel Holloman. It’s one we share wholeheartedly. We have been jealous of not only Zach Galligan and Nicole Ari Parker, but of Campbell Scott and Jennifer Beals as well.
Next: The L Word