City of Angels

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Synopsis of City of Angels

“City of Angels” opens in “reel” life, the fictional black and white film. Detective Stone lies on a gurney with a bullet in his shoulder. He flashes back to week before in his office: in walks Alaura Kingsley, a striking socialite, escorted by Oolie, Stone’s Girl Friday. Alaura wanted hire Stone to find her stepdaughter, Mallory, a bad beautiful girl.

Stine, the real life author, appears working on adapting his novel into a screenplay for movie mogul Buddy Fidler. Fidler claims to be a fan of Stine’s, but continuously asks him to rewrite parts of the script. Stine, like Stone, has a weakness for women and money scruples. Although Fidler is providing the money, people warn Stine to watch out for his puppeteer tricks (“Double Talk”). Stine’s wife Gabby wishes that he would stick to the novels and leaves him when she discovers he is having an affair with Donna, Buddy’s secretary.

Back in the movie, Stone gets beat up by a couple of thugs for taking the case to look for Mallory. In real life, Fidler reads over the scene and, true to his nature, fiddles with everything (“The Buddy System”). Stone, out cold, receives a visit from an old partner, Munoz. Munoz believes that Stone is getting away with murder. Stone gets frustrated with Stine’s inability to hold to his principles and steps over the line separating fantasy and reality. Stone challenges Stine (“You’re Nothing Without Me”).

In the movie, Stone finds himself in an even more treacherous web spun by Alaura. Meanwhile, Stine flies to New York to try to reconcile with Gabby. He returns to maneuver his way through a creative minefield, created by Fidler, leading up to the first day of filming. On the sound stage, with Stone by his side, Stine reclaims his self respect and stands up to Fidler, who has given himself a co-writing credit. Stine tears up the script and quits. As he is about to be beaten up by security guards, Stone rewrites the scene, allowing Stine to defeat the guards and win back Gabby and his self respect.

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