10 Films Without A Hit: Heather Graham

Heather Graham is back in cinemas today with The Hangover.

It’s great, which must be a relief for Heather’s agent.

It’s been quite a while since the last decent script landed in Heather’s hands.

We mean, just look at some of the movies she’s been making while we stopped paying attention…

ExTerminators (2009)

The Plot: Three women meet in anger management class, and accidentally kill a friend’s husband.

Somehow, they get a reputation as a kind of ex-boyfriend termination company, treating dodgy men like pest controllers treat ‘roaches. Admittedly, this does sound like a pretty good story.

Who Heather Plays:
Central psycho gal. Alex. Sadly, her glasses are more memorable than her performance.

Why You Haven’t Heard Of It:
Despite the dark plot, ExTermintors is less Heathers 2 and more The Divine Secrets Of The Ya-Ya Sisterhood 6 – with a light and sentimental tone scuppering the promising premise.

How It Could’ve Been Successful:
Keep the same title, but tweak the plot slightly so it’s more about a bunch of out of work T800s (Arnold Schwarzenegger) who are trying to make ends meet by being plumbers and things.

Heather Graham plays a Terminatrix whose wires are so wrong, they make her think that Arnie is an ex-boyfriend who broke her non-existent heart. Hijinks ensue.

We’d basically be combining the humour of Twins with the violence of Terminator 2. It would be the third best film ever made.

Next: Baby On Board


Baby On Board (2009)

The Plot: A powerful business woman gets pregnant, just as she finds out her lawyer husband is having an affair.

Meanwhile, he starts to suspect she’s having an affair.

Neither of them is having an affair.

Who Heather Plays: The least believable executive in the history of business.

Despite the fact she’s the pretty much the most powerful person in her company (apart from Lara Flynn Boyle, who appears to be a vampire – she hasn’t aged since Twin Peaks) she has absolutely no confidence in herself, or her relationship.

Why You Haven’t Heard Of It
: Considering the fact this was sold on the promise that you’d be seeing a film “In the tradition of The 40 Year Old Virgin†there are surprisingly few jokes in the trailer.

In fact, we struggled to spot any.

And it appears the editor had a tough time putting it together too, which is why they seem to have added in comedy sound effects.

We’re surprised they didn’t add a laugh track, to provide us with further clues.

How It Could Have Been Successful:

Make a movie of this:

Next: Miss Conception



Miss Conception (2009)

The Plot: A woman finds out that she has two weeks to get pregnant, before her biological clock runs out of ticks.

Who Heather Plays: Georgina Salt, which sounds like someone who Willy Wonka should have drowned in chocolate years ago, but is actually the name of the lead character, a woman so devoid of dignity, she nearly rapes someone to get a baby.

Why You Haven’t Heard Of It:
Apart from all of the above, someone thought it was a good idea to get Heather to give the ol’ English accent another try, after the horror show that was From Hell.

That someone was very, very wrong.

How It Could Have Been Successful: Jessica Biel is the titular character, who can make anything she conceives of (see what we did there?) a reality.

Anything, that is, except true love.

Heather Graham appears as a snooty shop worker, for one tragically brief scene.

Next: Have Dreams, Will Travel


Have Dreams, Will Travel (2007)

The Plot: A girl and boy living in the ‘60s travel across America to hang out with the girl’s cool aunt and uncle, after the girl’s parents get killed in a car accident.

Who Heather Plays:
The cool aunt. That’s right, for once, she’s not in a sex comedy.

Why You Haven’t Heard Of It: We’re not sure, actually – it’s a sweet little movie, apparently scripted, shot and scored to pass time on a Sunday evening.

But then we suppose that’s not what blockbusters are made of.

How It Could Have Been Successful:
Add two robots and a couple of superheroes to the road trip.

Next : Adrift In Manhattan


Adrift In Manhattan (2007)

The Plot: A group of strangers keep bumping into each other on the New York subway system

Who Heather Plays: A grieving doctor, Rose Phipps, who’s lost her son,

Why You Haven’t Heard Of It: It stars one of the rubbish Baldwins (Billy) and no-one else anyone cares about (apart from Heather, obviously).

Also, for a portmanteau flick, it doesn’t really have the scope of Traffic, or the political resonance of Babel. Just the soap opera of Neighbours.

How It Could Have Been Successful:
Keep the title, but make it a wacky comedy about a man (Steve Carrell) who gets stranded on a traffic island. Heather Graham plays a commuter he falls in love with.

Next: Broken


Broken (2006)

The Plot:
Girl meets boy on beach, boy introduces girl to heroin, girl becomes hooker, girl hangs out in café. Turns out the boy – spoiler alert – is a Tyler Durden style metaphor for heroin addiction. The end.

Who Heather Plays: Hope, who loses all hope over the course of the film. See what they did there?

Why You Haven’t Heard Of It: It’s about as far from Graham’s Drugstore Cowboy debut as possible, with a pretentious script, clichéd characters and twitching, hammy performances ruining what is definitely a decent concept.

How It Could Have Been Successful:
Cast Brad Pitt as Will, the imaginary heroin man. Add some building explosions and a scene where Will bumps shoulders a girl call Grace (Ed Norton in drag). Retitle it Fight Club 2: Drop-Kicking The habit.

Next: Gray Matters


Gray Matters (2006)

The Plot: Watch the trailer. It’s the whole film. A brother and sister spend so much time together they don’t have time for relationships.

They decide to hook each other up, the brother falls in love with a girl, the sister realises she’s gay and falls in love with the same girl. What are the chances?

Who Heather Plays: The sister, Gray Baldwin. See what they did with the title there?

Why You Haven’t Heard Of It: It so desperately wants to be a Woody Allen flick, but Woody has more intelligence in his glasses than this script has in all of its words.

Combine that with supporting performances so shrill only dogs can fully comprehend them and the most unlikeable leads this side of Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer and you’ve got a solid-gold dud.

How It Could Have Been Successful:
Keep the title, make it a zombie flick from the perspective of the zombie, who’s a chef who’s really into his ingredients. Heather Graham plays a victim who – in a post-modern twist – dies in the opening five seconds.

Next : Bobby


Bobby (2006)

The Plot: It’s another portmanteau flick, this time following 22 people living and working in the Ambassador Hotel on the day Kennedy was assassinated.

Who Heather Plays: Angela, a switchboard operator who’s having an affair with the hotel manager.

Why You Haven’t Heard Of It : Actually, the chances of you having heard of this one are pretty high, The chances of you having actually seen it? Less so. But there’s a good chance it’s the only one on this list you’ve actually seen. Lucky you.

How It Could Have Been Successful: Shear the cast right down to Shia LaBeouf, Lindsay Lohan and Anthony Hopkins. Tweak the title to Bobby: The Curse Of Kennedy’s Gold,

Send Hopkins and LaBeouf on a wacky treasure hunting adventure. Lohan plays the love interest / Bobby Kennedy.

Next: The Oh In Ohio


The Oh In Ohio (2005)

The Plot: Priscilla Chase is a woman who has never had an orgasm. This is a whole film dedicated to that concept.

Who Heather Plays: Justine, the sex shop clerk. Her part’s so minuscule we’re surprised she was given a name.

Why You Haven’t Heard Of It: It manages to contain a brilliant turn from Danny DeVito as a swimming pool magnate (seriously) and Liza Manelli as a sex guru and still be dull, drab and almost entirely lacking in imagination. Heather’s not to blame this time, though. She’s hardly in it.

How It Could Have Been Successful:
We’re not sure there’s any hope for this one, save for turning the concept on its head and having it be about a woman who can’t stop orgasming. People would probably pay to see that.

Next: Mary


Mary (2005)

The Plot: We follow an obsessive director is making a film about Mary Magdalene, his lead actress who becomes possessed by Mary’s spirit once the shoot wraps, and journalist making a film about the life of Christ. It’s a laugh a minute (it isn’t)

Who Heather Plays: Elizabeth Younger, the wife of the journalist.

Why You Haven’t Heard Of It: It’s directed by Abel Ferrara, he doesn’t really do blockbusters.

How It Could Have Been Successful: Re-release it after Marion Coulthard (who also appears) won her Oscar and hope for the best.

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Sam Ashurst is a London-based film maker, journalist, and podcast host. He's the director of Frankenstein's Creature, A Little More Flesh + A Little More Flesh 2, and co-hosts the Arrow Podcast. His words have appeared on HuffPost, MSN, The Independent, Yahoo, Cosmopolitan, and many more, as well as of course for us here at GamesRadar+.