Robbing Hood

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Comedy/Drama/Mystery/Romance/, 2008

Synopsis At boarding school, young Ned (Field Cate) wasn't exactly surrounded by friends. He befriended equally outcast Eugene (Nicholas Khayyat), whose two friends are a pet python, Bilbo, and Akbar the bite-sized bunny. One day, an unfortunate marble ricochet mid-game broke both aquariums and the two pets met in a most unfortunate manner. Tragically, Bilbo the snake choked on Akbar, killing them both. Ned takes both to "bury" and revives them both, sacrificing other critters and believing his act of charity was justified.Present Day, Ned (Lee Pace) stress bakes. He worries about Dwight Dixon (Stephen Root) dating Vivian (Ellen Greene), which means he's going to recognize a picture of Chuck (Anna Friel) and remember having met her - not dead. They decide to learn more about Dwight.Olive (Kristin Chenoweth) visits Vivian, bringing her pie, but she already has her sweet for the day. Dwight is there. He's an antique appraiser.Emerson (Chi McBride) is visited by Daniel Hill (Ethan Phillips), a lawyer who gives him a ton of cash and wants justice for a dead client. Gustav (Shelley Berman) was his one client. He was in love with him, but Gustav was married. Gustav was robbed the night he died. He was loaded because of a yarn baller invention. He was killed by a falling chandelier after somebody shot it down.The Pie Holers visit dead Gustav, hanging from the chandelier in the morgue. He immediately gets down to business, accepting he's dead and giving directions on where to find his real will, in trophy room. "Make sure that no good gold-dinging wife of mine doesn't get one dime." He says the "bellman" killed him.Off to the mansion. His young, dumb, blonde wife Elise (Jennifer Elise Cox) greets them, inviting them to "cop a squat." The bellman, James Andrew (Ethan Kogan), is on his way. She invites them to the wake, where anybody who's anybody will be celebrating Gustav's death.Ned creeps into the trophy room -- it's not trophies like awards but trophies like dead animals, a veritable mine field for a guy who can bring things back to life with a brush. He tiptoes his way to the largest trophy, as directed, and tries to figure out how to move a taxidermied polar bear without getting mauled.James Andrew says that he's a porter, not a bellman. A loud, polar bear-like roar rattles through the house from upstairs. "Y'all sure got a big ass dog," Emerson covers from downstairs.Ned reaches the safe behind the dead-again bear. It's empty, but inside is written: "Orbis pro vox."Later, Emerson and Chuck explain to Ned that James Andrews' alibi was being at a "key party." Chuck is charmed Ned doesn't know the term, and Emerson defines it as a "kind of raffle, of the porno variety."Emerson explains that according to the news there's a robber on the loose who leaves cryptic latin phrases at his crime scenes.At the PH, they're coming up with nothing on Dwight. Ned suggests they just give Dwight the pocket watch belonging to Chuck's dad he's after. Or, instead, they could wake her dad, Chuck says, and ask about Dwight. Ned says no, he doesn't want her to watch him die all over again.Emerson comes in with news on the robber. He always makes a donation to charity after he robs someone.They head to a bellman's charitable organization, where dozens of men are dressed in green elf-like suits and are ringing bells, Salvation Army-style. The leader exhorts them to "Ring for rights" - or "orbis pro vox." They're telemarketers. The Holers hear one haranguing a person on the phone and go to talk to him. He runs, but they check his phone list. Tam Phong (Jamison Young) called all of the houses later robbed.In the park, Dwight serenades Vivian with a clarinet. He's running a con, but also starting to like her a little. Dwight fishes for info on the watch and Chuck's death. Vivian says a busybody peeled back Chuck's eyelids when she was dead, just to check. Vivian takes out a copy of Chuck's obituary, which she carries with her to remind her to start living. Dwight recognizes her.The Holers tell the lawyer, Daniel Hill, about the bellman's organization and the angry bellman whose numbers they took, Tam Phong. Hill is surprised to learn there's another will and hopes it'll cut out the wife. He'll double their fee if they find it.They conceive a sting. But no robber would hit Ned's apartment, so Chuck suggests her aunt's house. Using it would also allow her to find her secret cigar box of letters from her dad hidden in her bedroom and find out if Dwight's telling the truth.Olive as "Mrs. Carville," doled up in sequins, furs and jewels, drops by the bellman's organization to lob threats at Tam Phong, telling him to stop calling. She leaves her number so he can remove her from the list. The trap is set.Ned and Chuck sneak into her aunt's house where she's delighted to find they turned her room into a cheese locker, with Stilton wafting in the air. Chuck shows off her tin-can-on-a-string eavesdropping device so she can listen to the action downstairs and then finds her cigar box.Downstairs, Ned lays out the plan to Vivian and Lily. Lily says there's not a chance in "Tinkerbell's tiny butt cheeks" she'll go along with it. Quickly, Lily and Vivian are bickering about Vivian's romantic forays. Lily doesn't want Vivian to get hurt.Ned dims the lights and puts out the candles, making the house appear empty. Chuck tires of listening to the arguing and starts going through her dad's things. A shadow appears in the window behind her.It's the robber, but it's not Tam Phong, it's the charity's leader, Rob Wright (Danny Comden) (get it?). Chuck threatens to scream, but instead says his noble crusade of stealing from the wealthy has a hole in it when you count murder. Rob says first, he stole Tam's phone list but otherwise Tam's not involved, and second, Gustav asked to be robbed. The facts were these: He was writing a new will and questioning if anyone really cared about him, or just liked his money. Rob agreed to live up to his name so Gustav could see if his wife would stick by him. Gustav would keep half and Rob would give the other half to charity. But Elise, shotgun in hand (arms) caught him and Rob ran. As he finishes his tale, in the dark, Rob and Chuck share a plate of cheese. He's trying to get enough money to save the dog shelter. Chuck commits her own act of charity and lets him go.Ned thinks Chuck did the wrong thing. She suggests they look at James Andrew again.Emerson, Chuck and Ned go on a stakeout. She thinks maybe Dwight finding out she's still alive wouldn't be that bad. Ned says it's a deep dark touchy subject for him. He's had a recurring dream about being found out. It starts with ice cream and balloons and ends in a small white room. Chuck is touched he's putting her own emotional health ahead of her fears by refusing to reanimate her dad, even if if means Dwight might expose them. Through his binoculars, Emerson spies Elise and the bellman going at it. Hello, motive.Dwight finds Olive alone at the Pie Hole. After totally creeping her out, Dwight leaves a message for her friends: Chuck's obit.Olive stress eats all of Ned's stress-baked pies, fretting over Dwight.Lily tries to warn Dwight off, but he brings up Chuck. In response, Lily grabs her shotgun. The mention of Chuck makes her sentimental and she goes to visit Chuck's grave. She sees the recently dug up dirt and wonders if Dwight got more than the watch.Emerson, Chuck and Ned confront Elise and the bellman. They still say they didn't kill Gustav. The bellman reiterates the key party alibi and Elise asks them who they thought got his key. "Oh," realizes Chuck, "I'm still really wrong about what I thought that was." She denies, also, that she aimed a gun at Rob Wright, citing her manicure and the fact she's "too blinged out" to pull any trigger. Emerson thinks Rob Wright did them wrong.Back to the Bellman's Headquarters, where Rob accosts them with a knife. He says Gustav was the victim of a tragic accident, but produces the second will. And then he seems to think he gets to leave, cutting a rope which lowers the giant bell but lifts him up-up and away - at least until Emerson pulls out his gun, takes aim and shoots the rope in two. Rob drops to the floor like a sack of potatoes. There's a crunch.The facts were these: Gustav did decide to have Rob rob him, but Daniel Hill found out about the affair and confronted them. Gustav heard everything, including the way his lawyer defended him. He rewrote his will to give it all to Daniel and, already knowing who his real friends were, he refused to play along when Rob arrived. Gustav turned the gun on him, they struggled, it went off and down came the chandelier.Emerson gives the will to Daniel, who gets it all.Lily sneaks into Dwight's hotel room to find proof for Vivian he's no good. She finds automatic weapons laid out everywhere. Lily sees the two pocket watches and grabs them, but Dwight returns home. Lily hides on the ledge outside and Dwight, seeing the missing watches, thinks Chuck has taken them. Meanwhile, Olive breaks the bad news about what Dwight knows to Chuck and Ned.Ned has no choice, he has to unearth Chuck's dad to get the leg up on Dwight. He worries how she'll feel when it's over. They're ready. They open the coffin lid and -(Credits roll. D'oh!)

Directed by Paul Shapiro  

Starring Lee Pace, Anna Friel, Chi McBride, Jim Dale, Field Cate, more...

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