Bob Jones’ second feature is a semi-autobiographical story about coming to Hollywood with high hopes, only to look back several years later and wonder what the hell happened. Jones’ first feature was Mission Hill. Set up as romantic comedy, Hollywood Capri is about a film professor at a Los Angeles area college, still struggling to make it in Hollywood while his wife wants to go back east to continue her singing career. Jones himself is a film professor at the University of Central Florida and much of the film’s story draws upon his own past as a struggling director in Hollywood. With a budget of $25,000, Hollywood Capri took five years to complete using a combination of professional resources and the help of Jones’ undergraduate students. Marshall (Alex Saccavino) desperately wants tenure as a film professor. He’s come to a point of crisis in his life. Marshall still has dreams of making it in Hollywood, but after some success with a few short films and an independent feature, his film career has cooled. His wife, Abby (Erika Ness), tired of her secretary job and the five years they’ve spent living in Hollywood, is offered the opportunity to return to Atlanta to restart her singing career. Marshall is unwilling to leave, resulting in constant bickering between the two. Meanwhile, next door neighbor, Tracey (Kelley Collins Lintz), a budding actress, who has the hots for Marshall, is trying to convince him to let Abby go. With impeccably bad timing, Marshall’s old college buddy from home, Jerry (Lee Dawson), a dead-on Jethroe from the Beverly Hillbillies, shows up at the door aiming to stay a while. Juggling Abby, Jerry and the devilishly persistent Tracey, Marshall must try to save his marriage, get a deal made in Hollywood and attain tenure at his job. Jerry comes through for Marshall with a script idea; a bored housewife secretly joins a rock band. With Abby on the verge of leaving, Marshall and Jerry complete a treatment with the hopes of having Abby play the lead. After several comedic twists and turns, Marshall’s agent ducks him, Tracey thinks she’s going to be the star and Abby thinks Marshall’s in love with Tracey. All is eventually figured out, Marshall gets his tenure and Abby stays to form a new band in Los Angeles.
There’s a lot going on here, but thanks to the comedy element, the laughs provide a bridge linking all the pieces of the story line. Lee Dawson is great as good ol’ boy Jerry coming to town to make it big – in something. Jones succeeds in producing a humorous and entertaining portrait of relationships and dreams in Hollywood.