Brow Beat

The Health Care Satire David O. Russell Abandoned Years Ago Is Coming Out Soon

The movie that was once called Nailed has been described as “a cautionary tale of working with shady financiers.” The health care satire with a script by Kristin Gore (daughter of Al) was directed by David O. Russell, except he wasn’t able to finish it. Production was shut down four times, evidently because the crew was not getting paid. Meanwhile, James Caan left the movie mid-production, reportedly over a creative dispute involving a scene in which Caan, playing the U.S. speaker of the House, was to choke to death on a cookie.

The cast also included Jessica Biel, James Marsden, Jake Gyllenhaal, Catherine Keener, Tracy Morgan, Paul Reubens, and James Brolin, and told the story of a waitress without health insurance who gets a nail through her head in a freak accident, “eliciting wild sexual urges,” then goes to Washington to push for health care reform. Russell apparently wanted to shoot a final version of the accident scene last, so that the producers couldn’t shut the production down, because without the accident scene, there would be no movie. They shut it down anyway.

Over the last six years they managed to finish the movie without Russell, and now there’s a trailer and a release date. The blandly retitled Accidental Love is awkwardly timed, to say the least, since the health care debate is not what it was in 2008. Presumably it will remain a cautionary tale, but now one that you can go see, or catch on demand, starting in February.