There's an old saying in the Israeli film industry: When life gives you lemons, make "Lemon Popsicle." And that's particularly great advice right now for Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan.
The bad news for Milchan is that the Israeli police think he should be indicted for bribery due to the extravagant gifts he gave Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu over the years.
The good news for Milchan is that he's a movie mogul with literally hundreds of films to his name. If anyone can turn this seemingly sticky situation to their advantage, it's him.
And we're here to help – though, given the circumstances, it's probably best we don't call it a gift.
It’s amazing how many of Milchan's films sound like they were made in order to describe his current predicament. Just look at those titles: “Rules Don’t Apply” (that's the Warren Beatty film absolutely nobody went to see, including Annette Bening); “Entrapment” (the icky thriller that tried to sell the idea of Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones as a couple – what on earth gave them the idea she’s into older guys?); "Runaway Jury" (Arnon shouldn't watch that for tips, though, as they don’t have juries in Israel – which is odd, because it would be really easy to find 12 angry men).
The list just goes on and on: "A Time to Kill," "High Crimes," "Guilty by Suspicion," "Falling Down" – even "Meet the Spartans" works on an ironic level.
But this is just the tip of the Milchan iceberg. There are so many other films in his back catalog to comb through. So just for "Mr. Confidential," here are five of his own films he may want to consider remaking with suggested plotlines, all based on a true story (allegedly).
- The Israeli James Bond? Arnon Milchan and his ties to the secret services
- Netanyahu’s all-out war of self-preservation heralds bedlam and mayhem for Israel
- The law that's plaguing Netanyahu – and driving the tax office crazy
The plot: Benny thinks his love life has changed for the better when he meets Sarah, a child psy-cho-lo-gist. Despite their humble salaries as public servants, they soon find a way to finance their extravagant lifestyle – wealthy businessmen who keep them in the manner to which they want to become accustomed.
Everything would be perfect, if only Sarah could stop abusing the domestic staff (there's a potential spinoff here, too – “12 Years a Slave”) and if she could get that piece of jewelry she's always demanded for her birthday.
Rated: Aaargh! (Like every other film on this list.)
‘What Happens in Vegas’
The plot: Sheld and Ben are besties. There’s nothing Sheld wouldn’t do for his buddy – show up to support him during big Congress speeches; back him through thick and thin with his casino billions. Hell, he’ll even set up a paper to publish anything his pal asks. But when Sheld learns that his old buddy has been two-timing him with another publisher, Ben soon discovers that what happens in Jerusalem never stays in Jerusalem.
The plot: Arnie is a man on a mission. He’s spent years in the Beverly Hills wilderness and is desperate to return home. And he will do anything to make that happen – except pay taxes on his overseas earnings for the next 20 years. Can he survive the bleak desolation of the Israel Tax Authority offices? Does anyone? (Look out for the gratuitous scene where he wrestles a ferocious, bear-like man called Avigdor.)
The plot: Meet straight-shooting cop Lt. Ronnie Allsright. As he works his way through his precinct's bad apples and vending machine snacks, he uncovers a conspiracy that goes all the way to the top! Watch as he tackles corruption ever so slowly, and that box of donuts ever so quickly. And watch disappointed young audiences as they arrive in cinemas and realize that "T.A." stands for Tel Aviv.
The plot: Young and innocent Yair (aka "the Snitch") finds himself targeted by mob bosses when he turns state's evidence and plans to spill the beans on his old mentor, "Bibi the Boss." As the court date nears and he edges toward the witness stand, young Yair is not worried about the criminal underworld, but is deeply concerned that the cameras catch his best side.