'Neighbor' moves: Modine, Laroque

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NEW YORK -- Matthew Modine and French film actress Michele Laroque will star in Eddie O'Flaherty's indie romantic comedy "The Neighbor," now shooting in Los Angeles.

Modine plays Jeff, a man on the verge of a nervous breakdown after his business heads into dire straits and his daughter (Gina Mantegna) tells him that his ex-wife (Meredith Scott Lynn) is marrying his former best friend (David Youse). When Christine (Laroque), a high-powered real estate developer, moves into the condo below Jeff with the misunderstanding that he'll be moving out for her renovation, a battle of wills ensues that threatens to turn romantic. Complicating matters are Christine's uptight fiance (Ed Quinn) and unpleasant boss (Richard Kind).

Karen S. Shapiro, producer of the award-winning African AIDS drama "Beat the Drum," is teaming with partner Michel Rampal to produce the film. "Neighbor" is O'Flaherty's follow-up to his feature directorial debut, Freestyle Releasing's 2005 boxing drama "Fighting Tommy Riley." He co-wrote the screenplay with "Riley" writer and star J.P. Davis.

"The script has intelligence and heart and showcases Los Angeles in a new light," Shapiro said. "The gorgeous, romantic L.A. skyline and the revitalized downtown district with its loft condos are key elements of the film."

"Neighbor" marks the English-language film debut for two-time Cesar Award nominee Laroque ("Pedale Douce," "La Crise"). Among her 33 films, she is perhaps best known to U.S. audiences for her starring roles in Francis Veber's "The Closet" (Le Placard) and Alain Berliner's "Ma vie en rose."

Modine is a Golden Globe winner for his ensemble work in Robert Altman's "Short Cuts." His upcoming projects include Abel Ferrara's "Go Go Tales." Previous features include the Tribeca Film Festival entry "Kettle of Fish," "Opa!" "Le Divorce," "Birdy" and "Full Metal Jacket."

Modine is represented by Innovative Artists and Untitled Entertainment. Laroque is repped by Agents Associes' Guy Bonnet and attorney Dean Masserman of VorzimerMasserman.
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