February 26, 1999
Academy Award-nominated actress
Rosie Perez stars in Nancy Savoca's The 24 Hour Woman
a provocative comedy about the trials and tribulations of "having
it all" in the late nineties.
As the frenzied producer of one of New York City's local morning shows, The 24 Hour Woman, Grace Santos (Perez) understands the equally frenzied lives and concerns of her primarily female audience. Grace's goal to produce a show that inspires an enlightens is guided by her ratings-hungry executive producer, Joan Marshall (Patti LuPone), and realized by the show's co-hosts: sexy, aspiring movie star Eddie Diaz (Diego Serrano), Grace's real-life husband, and the hyper-kinetic Margo Lynn (Karen Duffy), who laments, "I gave up drinking, drugs, smoking, sugar, high-fat foods and casual sex. Welcome to the millennium, people!"
When Margo startles Eddie on air by revealing Grace's newly discovered pregnancy, Joan immediately seizes the opportunity to increase ratings. Uncomfortable in the spotlight, Grace finds personal solace in her stable marriage, her professional prowess and her new assistant, Madeline Labelle (Marianne Jean-Baptiste). A level-headed mother-of-three, Madeline is a former producer returning to work after six years of child-rearing, whose husband, Roy (Wendell Pierce) uncomfortably assumes the role of Mr. Mom. Grace, however, isn't sure how she will balance the pressures of work and motherhood, especially with Eddie's budding film career.
As Grace's stomach slowly swells, so too do the show's ratings, building toward the baby's fortuitously timed delivery during-November sweeps. While she and her staff concoct easy soundbite lessons for their viewers - "The ABC's of C-Sections," "Underwater Births," "You & Your Epidural," "Orgasms to Induce Labor" Grace grows increasingly uncertain about work and motherhood. At long last, she delivers twofold: a baby, Lily, and a notch in the Nielsens. But minutes after the blessed event, her eager TV crew rushes in for a live remote, (There's not much time for bonding in the television world).
As "The 24 Hour Woman" moves beyond "The 24 Hour Pregnancy," Grace finds that she does not have much time for anything, except perhaps to contemplate her burgeoning inner conflict: To be a working mother or not to be. But after a six-week hiatus, she returns to television... while Eddie spends more and more time on airplanes and movies sets.
One year later, the couple's jumbled priorities reach a nadir. Although "The 24 Hour Woman" goes network after the success of the pregnancy campaign, child rearing takes a backseat to Grace and Eddie's all-consuming careers. When work obligations prevent both parents from attending their daughter's first birthday party, Grace hits the breaking point. Can she continue to juggle work and motherhood? Does she even want to be a full time mom? Where is Eddie in all of this? And how the hell do you work a breast pump, anyway? As Grace struggles to keep it together, she discovers that doing it all is a far cry from having it all, even for The 24 Hour Woman.
The Shooting Gallery presents a Redeemable Features/Exile Films production in association with Dirt Road Productions, The 24 Hour Woman. A film by Nancy Savoca, The 24 Hour Woman stars Rosie Perez, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Patti LuPone, Karen Duffy, Diego Serrano and Wendell Pierce. Edited by Camilla Toniolo, the production designer is Bob Shaw, the director of photography is Teresa Medina and Kathlene Mobley is the costume designer. Co-produced by Rosie Perez, the executive producers are Steve Carlis, Donald C. Carter, and Daniel J. Victor. Produced by Richard Guay, Larry Meistrich and Peter Newman and written by Nancy Savoca and Richard Guay, The 24 Hour Woman is directed by Nancy Savoca.