The depth of satire in "The Next Big Thing" can be discerned in several of the character names--another is that of gallery owner Arthur Pomposello (Farley Granger)--and the film suffers for it; helmer PJ Posner and co-writer Joel Posner (the brother duo who scripted "Swingers") likewise fail to realize that the audience impact of a film's lead character is either elevated or enervated by the strength or weakness of the characters with whom he interacts, and although the supporting cast do fine jobs their parts are written at caricature level.
Fortunately, the Posners chose Eigeman as their lead, and--despite his usual apparently lackadaisical presence onscreen--the actor's driving insistence to reach some meaningful point with his Gus pushes "The Next Big Thing" into otherwise undeserved success. The results are hardly Whit Stillman-like in insight--Eigeman having worked with that filmmaker in "Metropolitan," "Barcelona" and "The Last Days of Disco"--yet none-too-demanding art-house audiences or multiplex moviegoers willing to give a small film a try will likely leave with pleasant enough memories. Starring Chris Eigeman, Jamie Harris, Connie Britton, Janet Zarish and Mike Starr. Directed by PJ Posner. Written by Joel Posner and PJ Posner. Produced by Anthony Fierberg and Amy Hobby. A Castle Hill release. Romantic comedy. Rated R for language and some sexuality/nudity. Running time: 87 min.