Persistence paid off for 22-year-old babysitter/webmaster Bethany Griffith. She got Houston on the list for a sneak-peek screening of the new comedy The Best and the Brightest, starring Neil Patrick Harris and Bonnie Somerville as a married couple that go to hysterical lengths to get their five-year-old daughter enrolled at an elite New York City kindergarten.
Griffith participated in one of the film's promotional features, in which fans can demand a sneak-peek screening for their city by logging a digital petition at the film's website.
Griffith is a huge fan of the TV series The Legend of the Seeker (she even runs a fansite), and when she heard one of the series' stars, Bridget Regan, had a supporting role in The Best and the Brightest, she made it her mission to demand a Houston screening. Over two months time late last year, she racked up enough online registrations to bring the film to Houston.
"I kind of just took a laptop to every Starbucks, Best Buy and WalMart," says Griffith, "and I would talk to people about it and say, 'I've got my laptop right here. Why don't you demand to have it in our city?'"
Griffith's strategy was to be aggressively friendly.
"I would literally walk up to random people in line and be like, 'Hey, could you do me a favor? Let me tell you about this movie.' I was like 'I'll buy your coffee.' That actually worked a lot," she says.
Eventually the film's director, Josh Shelov, and co-producer Declan Baldwin contacted her. "They were happy that I was helping to spread the word of the movie and wanted to know if I could continue helping them," says Griffith, "so that's what I've been doing."
She doesn't expect special treatment, but we imagine Griffith will get some special thanks when the movie screens this Thursday, April 21, 7:30 p.m. at the River Oaks Theater.
"It looks hysterical. I am so excited," says Griffith.
It does look hysterical. Check out the trailer.
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