Joan Cusack and Mae Whitman to Star in Lifetime Original Movie "Acceptance"





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Joan Cusack and Mae Whitman to Star in Lifetime Original Movie "Acceptance"  11/19/08


Academy Award Nominee Joan Cusack and Mae Whitman to Star in Lifetime Original Movie Acceptance

Comedy to be Directed by Sanaa Hamri (THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS 2), Based on Susan Coll's Acclaimed Book ACCEPTANCE: A NOVEL

LOS ANGELES, California Nov. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The pressures of the modern day college admissions process are at the center of the Lifetime Original Movie Acceptance. The start of production of this topical comedy was announced today by Lifetime Networks, as was the casting of two-time Academy Award nominee Joan Cusack (Working Girl, In & Out) and accomplished young actress Mae Whitman (TV's Arrested Development, Independence Day). The movie, based on the critically acclaimed book Acceptance: A Novel by Susan Coll, will be directed by Sanaa Hamri (The Sisterhood of theTraveling Pants 2) and will air on Lifetime Television in the summer 2009.

"Joan Cusack and Mae Whitman are amazingly talented actresses with impressive bodies of work and spot-on timing," said Tanya Lopez, Senior Vice President, Original Movies, Lifetime Networks. "Acceptance is a topical comedy that shines a spotlight on the competitive nature of contemporary education."


High school student and overachiever Taylor Rockefeller (Whitman) is weathering the storm of her senior year while struggling to cope with the stress of applying to colleges. Complicating her life even further, her parents are on the verge of a break-up, and her mother, Nina (Cusack), is focused on Taylor getting into a top school for the sole purpose of meeting a future husband. Her lifelong friends, Harry and Maya (Deepti Daryanani, The Cheetah Girls: One World), also gunning for admission to a top universities, are not above going to extremes themselves to get accepted to the schools of their choice. But when Taylor decides the lowly-ranked Yates College is the right choice for her, Nina's high hopes for her daughter are dashed. Together, the three friends and their modern day dysfunctional families navigate SAT scores, campus visits and school applications as they try to remain sane during the competitive process of college admissions.


Joan Cusack has received two Academy Award nominations, the first for her iconic portrayal of a Staten Island secretary in Working Girl and for her role as Kevin Kline's jilted bride in the critically acclaimed comedy In & Out. She was the recipient of an American Comedy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for her role in Runaway Bride opposite Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. She recently wrapped production on the feature film Confessions of aShopaholic, slated for release in 2009. Cusack's additional feature film credits include Friends with Money, Ice Princess, Raising Helen, School of Rock, Arlington Road, High Fidelity, Grosse Point Blank and Nine Months, among others. Her appearances on the small screen include a series regular role on Saturday Night Live and a starring role alongside Anne Bancroft in the BBC production of Paddy Chayefsky's The Mother. The actress resides in Chicago with her husband and their two sons.

At the age of four, Mae Whitman was cast in her first feature film, When a Man Loves aWoman, opposite Meg Ryan and Andy Garcia. Her additional feature film credits include ByeBye Love, Independence Day, One Fine Day, The Gingerbread Man, Hope Floats, AmericanRhapsody, Going Shopping and, most recently, Nights in Rodanthe. Additionally, she will soon be seen opposite John Cusack in the thriller The Factory. On the small screen, Whitman's credits include starring roles on Arrested Development and the six-part FX miniseries Thief. She has also guest starred on Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Cold Case, Judging Amy, Friends and Providence. Whitman has a love of cartoons and voices several animated characters including the role of "Katara" in Nickelodeon's successful Anime-style series Avatar.

Acceptance will be produced by All In Entertainment in association with Von Zerneck-Sertner for Lifetime Television. Ronnie Clemmer, Sharon Cicero, Michele Samet, Bob Sertner and Frank Von Zerneck will serve as executive producers. Sanaa Hamri (The Sisterhood of theTraveling Pants 2) will direct the script from Suzette Couture (The House Next Door).

SOURCE Lifetime Networks

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