Emma Roberts is set to star in comedy Hot Mess, which David Garrett’s Mister Smith Entertainment is launching at the Cannes Market next week.
The project marks the feature directorial debut of Katie Locke O’Brien, whose 2018 short film Have It All was a finalist for HBO’s Insider Comedy Short Challenge and a semi-finalist at the NBC Short Film Competition.
Hot Mess, which is written by Gabrielle D’Amico, follows Laurel Mack (Roberts) who, after imploding in the worst way possible on a wildly popular American dating show, must do the ultimate walk of shame…back to her hometown. Having failed to win love on the show, she finds herself living in her quirky parents basement, without any friends, constantly bumping into the miserable ex the whole town adores, while experiencing the constant mockery of all who witnessed her public meltdown. She embarks on a hilarious and heartfelt journey to discover self-love and, with that, real connections with others.
Debbie Liebling, Maggie Malina and Laura Lewis are producing the project, which is currently in pre-production and scheduled to start shooting in early 2024. Mister Smith Entertainment is launching international sales in Cannes while Lewis at Rebelle Media is repping North American rights.
“Hot Mess is a sharp, witty script that stood out to me as a fresh story of a woman finding her place in a world ruled by social media and outsized expectations,” said Locke O’Brien. “I am so eager to bring this to life with Emma as the perfect Laurel.”
The producers added: “We are thrilled to be partnering with the indomitable force that is Emma Roberts on Hot Mess. She will undoubtedly bring the ferocity, vulnerability and comedic hot-messiness to this character. The time has come for a comedy set in the world of reality dating shows and their hold on our collective consciousness. Kate’s comedic and heartfelt approach will make a very commercial comedy that speaks to anyone seeking self-love.”
Garrett added: “This is such a refreshing and funny take on the world of dating programs and you couldn’t hope for anyone smarter and funnier than Emma Roberts to inhabit the role.”